Pat Cummins is determined to play a big role in Australia's bid to win the ICC T20 World Cup on home soil.

The vice-captain has featured in just 25 Twenty20 internationals but is optimistic he can be a key performer when the tournament is held in his homeland during October and November.

Cummins features in Australia's squad for the three-match T20 series against South Africa that begins on Friday in Johannesburg.

The paceman is coming off a sticky ODI series in January against India, taking just two wickets in three games at the cost of 161 runs.

Asked how he might look to improve, Cummins told Omnisport: "There's always lots of things. The good thing is we've got a T20 World Cup this year. I haven't played a lot of T20 in the last couple of years so I'm excited for that.

"We've got plenty of games to work out a few things, but there's always something to work on."

Cummins had an early introduction to international cricket, making his T20 and Test debut at the age of 18, before injuries disrupted his career.

Now 26, each year that goes by without a major injury setback is a blessed relief.

It means that when he looks back at the past 12 months, he can point to "fortunately, more highs than lows".

"Everything has gone to plan," Cummins said. "It's been brilliant to play as much as I have, but also I've been really happy with how it's all coming out and yeah, a few series wins, it's been nice."

"The more you bowl, the more confident you feel you can just concentrate on just trying to bowl well, rather than all these different things, so I've been really lucky. It's been a good run, some big series that I've been fully fit for, it makes a big difference."

Cummins says he would be open to captaining his country in the future if the opportunity arises.

"Potentially if it came up, but I don't think that now is a time to talk about it," Cummins said. "We're in great form, the Test side, after a pretty much flawless summer and bringing back the Ashes, so we'll talk about it down the track."

Eoin Morgan said there was "no limit" to England's batting potential after their second-highest Twenty20 run chase secured a thrilling 2-1 series win over South Africa.

The Proteas capitalised on dream batting conditions to post a mammoth 222-6 in the decider at SuperSport Park on Sunday, Heinrich Klaasen top-scoring with 66 from only 33 balls.

That was not enough to prevent the tourists from winning a run-fest by five wickets with five balls to spare, captain Morgan matching his own record for the fastest T20 half-century by an England batsman.

Morgan bludgeoned 57 not out from only 22 balls - striking seven sixes - after Jos Buttler (57 from 29) and Jonny Bairstow (64 off 34) also flexed their muscles in Centurion.

Skipper Morgan believes England sent out a message to their rivals with the T20 World Cup in Australia on the horizon.

"It creates belief that you can chase down anything and it reinforces what our method is in chasing big totals down," said the England captain, named man of the match and series.

"It's a reference point to what we can do, there’s no limit on restricting yourself to certain things. You want to leave everything out there with the bat.

"It won’t always work but it will give us the best chance of winning.

"Moving forward from this series, our learning will continue to get better, hopefully, because I don't think we’ve played at our best in this series."

Morgan also gave his backing to Buttler, although he did not believe the wicketkeeper-batsman was at his devastating best at the top of the order.

"I'm delighted for Jos," Morgan told Sky Sports. "I think he has as much talent as somebody like AB de Villiers; it took De Villiers a long time, and a lot of games, to get going in a South African shirt.

"We need to back guys that have that sort of talent; Jos has been around a long time now and we know that when he delivers, we win games of cricket. It's great to see him back in the runs.

"I think the priority at the moment is to get the top three facing as many balls as they can - they are the most destructive players that we have.

"If that changes between now and the World Cup, and we feel the need to fill a gap somewhere, then we might change it but, for the moment, it's an extremely destructive batting line-up to play against."

England captain Eoin Morgan believes the team's one-run defeat to South Africa was a "great game to play in" ahead of the T20 World Cup.

South Africa handed England an agonising loss at Buffalo Park, where the Proteas prevailed in an astonishing finish in the first T20 international on Wednesday.

England – chasing 178 – needed seven runs from seven balls but the tourists fell short as Morgan holed out to long on before a stunning final over from Lungi Ngidi (3-30) saw him remove Tom Curran and Moeen Ali.

Adil Rashid required three from the last delivery for victory but he could only manage one as Dale Steyn and captain Quinton de Kock combined for a runout.

Despite the loss, Morgan was upbeat with the T20 World Cup on the horizon – the 20-over tournament scheduled to get underway in October.

"I definitely think we could've [found an extra run or two], I thought particularly during the chase we were in a very commanding position," Morgan, who scored 52 runs, told Sky Sports.

"We never through a cluster of losing wickets, Jason [Roy] and myself established a partnership quite well with the new guys coming in and with the short boundary one side, we never really looked flustered - probably until Ngidi came on in the 18th and probably the last over that he bowled turned the came on its head.

"Even in a position needing seven off the last over with new guys coming in, we'd have expected to win that game.

"It's a great game to play in because you get a feeling of where guys are at, they're put under pressure, you get to see what skill-level they produce, how their temperament is. So in terms of actually improving in that position, I think it is great for us."

Ngidi dazzled in the first of three T20's in East London and the South Africa paceman does not plan on relinquishing his spot in the team.

"We know that there are a lot of fast bowlers fighting for a spot so you've got to be on your A game," he said afterwards, with the Proteas able to call upon Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada and Sisanda Magala.

"If you're not quite there, someone else is going to come in and do the job you're supposed to be doing. I don't plan on letting anyone take my spot so I am just going to keep playing as best as I can."

Sohail Tanveer is confident he can force his way back into the Pakistan side and make a big impact at the T20 World Cup in Australia.

The left-arm paceman has not played for his country since April 2017, but remains as driven as ever to showcase his talents on the international stage.

Tanvir was the leading wicket-taker when Northern won the National T20 Cup late last year and is determined to catch Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq's eye with a fruitful Pakistan Super League campaign for Multan Sultans.

Mohammad Hafeez, 39, and Shoaib Malik, 38, have recently been recalled by Misbah and 35-year-old Tanvir believes his skill and experience can also be invaluable for Pakistan.

The quick told Omnisport: "I feel that if you don't have the inspiration to play for your country there is no point in playing cricket.

"I started playing when I was seven or eight years old with the dream of playing for my country, that gave me inspiration and I worked hard, made it and played for my country.

"I have always wanted to play well and show my worth. Unfortunately for around two and a half years or so, I didn't play for Pakistan but I'm still inspired to do that and the PSL is going to be key not only for me, but many players trying to play for Pakistan.

"The T20 team is not settled at the moment and the places are pretty much open, so I'm still fancying my chances."

Tanvir says the appointment of Misbah to replace Mickey Arthur has given him renewed hope of wearing the famous green shirt once again.

He added "The mindset is different, Mickey came with a different mindset and approach, he was just giving chances to youngsters.

"On his behalf fair enough, I won't argue about it but Misbah has a different mindset. We have seen more experienced players such as Shoaib Malik and Hafeez coming back into the team, that means age is not an issue and anybody can get a chance.

"That is how it should be, if someone is doing well. You want to win games for your country, it doesn't matter if you are 35 years old or 20 years old, the motivation is to win the game.

"If someone comes into the game with a lot of experience and still wins you games, that is a plus-plus for you instead of youngsters coming in with no experience.

"We all know the pressure of playing T20 cricket, things change very quickly and you have to make instant decisions. Having that experience gives you more confidence in yourself.

"I've not been playing international cricket, but I've been playing in high-quality leagues very close to the level of international cricket. I believe I can serve my country well again.

"The T20 World Cup is in sight this year and there is one next year as well, so I'm fancying my chances.

"I'm right on top of my game, fitness-wise and performance-wise I'm pretty much there, PSL is the key now.

"I had a conversation with Misbah and he was pretty much clear, as other key people have said, we will be looking at PSL, then check on fitness and performance."

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has announced that he will retire from international cricket after the T20 World Cup.

Hafeez was recalled for the upcoming three-match T20 series against Bangladesh on Thursday.

The 39-year-old revealed a day later that he will end his long international career after gracing one last major tournament in Australia, if selected.

"It has been a privilege," Hafeez told media.

"I want to play the T20 World Cup and then exit from Pakistan's international team."

Hafeez ended his Test career in December 2018 after playing 55 times in the longest format, having scored 3,652 runs - including 10 centuries - and taken 53 wickets.

The veteran has appeared in 218 ODIs, making 6,614 runs and claiming 139 scalps, and has played 89 times in the shortest format - picking up 54 wickets and amassing 1,908 runs.

Hafeez has been banned from bowling in international cricket on three occasions due to an illegal action.

He added: "I have played 17 years for Pakistan and tried my level best. At times I missed my bowling."

The T20 World Cup commences on October 18.

AB de Villiers says he would "love" to make a South Africa comeback but says talk of him playing in the T20 World Cup is premature.

The maverick batsman announced his retirement from international cricket in May 2018 as he had "run out of gas."

Mark Boucher said it would be remiss of him not to try to tempt De Villiers, who turns 36 next month, to play for his country again after he was appointed as Proteas head coach last month.

Captain Faf du Plessis has also spoken of his hope that one of South Africa's greatest ever players will grace the international stage again and talks had been held over a return.

De Villiers is not getting ahead of himself, but would jump at the chance to feature in the T20 World Cup in Australia this year.

"There's a lot that needs to happen before that becomes reality," he said after scoring a quickfire 40 on his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat in a thrashing of Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday.

"I would love to. I've been talking to Bouch, Graeme Smith [South Africa director of cricket] and Faf back home, we're all keen to make it happen.

"It's a long way away still, and plenty can happen – there's the IPL coming up, I've still got to be in form at that time. 

"So I'm thinking of throwing my name in the hat and hoping that everything will work out. 

"It's not a guarantee, once again. I don't want to disappoint myself or other people, so for now I'm just going to try and keep a low profile, try and play the best possible cricket that I can and then see what happens towards the end of the year."

De Villiers appeared in 114 Tests for his country, with 228 ODI and 78 T20s under his belt.

Dwayne Bravo can act as a mentor to boost West Indies' death bowling after earning a recall for their Twenty20 international series against Ireland, according to lead selector Roger Harper.

The veteran all-rounder announced he was coming out of international retirement for T20s last December in the hope of playing at the T20 World Cup in Australia this year.

Bravo last represented the Windies against Pakistan in September 2016 and has 1,142 runs and 52 wickets in 66 T20Is.

Speaking about Bravo's recall, Harper said it was his work with the ball that was key in the decision.

"Dwayne Bravo was recalled with the specific intention of bolstering our 'death' bowling, which was identified as an area that really needs improving," he said. 

"His record in this department speaks for itself. He will also be able to act as a mentor to the other 'death' bowlers and lend his experience wherever needed."

Jason Holder is rested for the three-match series, while all-rounder Rovman Powell is recalled.

Squad in full: Kieron Pollard (c), Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh jr., Kesrick Williams.

 

MS Dhoni will soon officially call time on his ODI career but could still feature at the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, according to India coach Ravi Shastri.

Dhoni is a veteran of 448 internationals across the limited overs formats, and captained India to glory at the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and the 2011 World Cup - the latter an unforgettable triumph on home soil.

The 38-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has not featured for India since their semi-final loss to New Zealand at last year's World Cup and he is currently on a break from the game.

Rishabh Pant has taken the gloves for India in white-ball cricket but the Dhoni era might not be over just yet.

"I have had a conversation with MS and that is between us," Shastri told News18. "He has finished his Test career, he may soon end his ODI career. So he will be left with T20, he will definitely play the IPL.

"One thing I know about Dhoni is that he will not impose himself on the team. But if he has a cracking IPL, well, then... 

"We will have to consider the person’s experience and form. They will bat in the number five or six position. If Dhoni plays well in IPL, then he does put himself in contention."

A return to Dhoni could be welcoming in some quarters, given criticism that has been levelled at Pant's glovework and his failure to convert starts into decisive contributions with the bat.

Pant averages 20.50 from 25 T20I innings, but Shastri is backing the youngster.

"How many 22-year-old wicket-keepers have made 100s? He hasn’t dropped many catches and everyone is entitled to make mistakes," he added.

"As he matures he will get better. These things don't happen overnight. There is no question that he is a match-winner.

"Talent is there, he is doing everything to cash in. He is working hard on his wicketkeeping."

Lasith Malinga would be open to retiring from Twenty20 internationals later this year, so long as he has helped Sri Lanka reach the T20 World Cup.

Paceman Malinga has already retired from Test and one-day cricket at international level, yet he intends to lead the team at this year's World Cup, the tournament they won in 2014.

Sri Lanka must come through a four-team group in the first round - playing Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Oman - in order to reach the Super 12 stage.

Malinga is willing to step aside whenever Sri Lanka ask him to, but he wants to see his nation safely through the qualifying stage in Australia.

"I've already retired from Tests and one-dayers," he told a news conference ahead of a T20 meeting with India. "It's [about] whatever is required for Sri Lanka cricket.

"If they say it's enough for me now then I'll be really happy to retire from T20 cricket also.

"But my only target is to be able to play the qualifying [first] round at the World Cup. If I play the qualifying round and the Sri Lanka team qualify for the World Cup, after that, I wouldn't mind any time I retire."

Sunday's opening T20 will see Malinga come up against Mumbai Indians team-mate Jasprit Bumrah.

The India star is the world's top-ranked ODI bowler, but he is making his return from a back injury and Malinga suggests that his lay-off could play in Sri Lanka's favour.

"As the number one [ODI] bowler, he's got the skill and accuracy," the veteran said. "But he's coming [back] after the injury and hasn't played much cricket for five or six months.

"After the injury, most of the bowlers struggle for the first few matches. We want to make that an advantage for us."

Indian cult hero Irfan Pathan has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

The 35-year-old starred in India's 2007 ICC World Twenty20 final against Pakistan, taking 3-16 to help steer his country to victory in South Africa. 

All-rounder Irfan first shot to stardom back in 2003 when he claimed figures of 9-16 for India Under-19s against Bangladesh, earning him a spot in the senior squad for a tour of Australia.

He confirmed his decision to call it quits in an interview on Star Sports on Saturday.

"I am announcing retirement from all forms of cricket," said Irfan. "I have been fortunate to share the dressing room with greats of the game like [Sourav] Ganguly, [Rahul] Dravid and [VVS] Laxman. I am calling time on my career.

"I would like to thank my family for providing much-needed support. I would like to thank my fans. They have always hoped for my comeback. Their support has kept me going."

Irfan, who last played on the international stage in 2012, featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20s for his country.

Faf du Plessis says AB de Villiers has already held discussions over a potential South Africa comeback.

De Villiers retired from international cricket in May 2018, stating he had "run out of gas".

New Proteas head coach Mark Boucher said it would be remiss of him not to try to tempt one of South Africa's greatest batsman to have a change of heart, with the T20 World Cup on the horizon next year.

South Africa captain Du Plessis revealed talks with the 35-year-old started a few months ago.

"People want AB to play and I am no different," said Du Plessis, speaking to reporters after playing for Paarl Rocks against Tshwane Spartans in the Mzansi Super League final.

"Those conversations have been happening for two or three months already: What does it look like? How does it look over the next year? And that's where it starts.

"T20 cricket is a different beast, it's not a lot of time away from home. If you are a full campaigner, you have to really get stuck in and spend a lot of time on the road.

"Test cricket now is the most important thing but also the T20 World Cup is not too far away and there isn't a lot - I reckon 20 T20s over the season - which won't be that hard on one to do that.

"Those conversations have already taken place and will continue to before the next T20 series starts."

De Villiers is set to make his Big Bash League debut for Brisbane Heat next month.

Former West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has come out of Twenty20 International retirement at the age of 36.

The all-rounder has not played for the Windies for over three years but is hoping to force his way into the defending champions' squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia next year.

Bravo revealed he would only be available to play international cricket in the shortest format.

He posted on Instagram: "Today I confirm the announcement of my decision to return to international cricket to all my fans and well-wishers all around the world.

"It's no secret that this big announcement has come as a result of the changes made at the administration level.

"For a while now I have been contemplating my return to international cricket and my decision was solidified by these positive changes.

"With the current leadership of coach Phil Simmons and captain Kieron Pollard I'm really excited about this come back and about the chance to be part of something really special.

"We have a lot of young talent on the team as well as cricketers with a wealth of experience such as Pollard, [Lendl] Simmons and Jason Holder and I believe that I can contribute to a positive change.

"With a powerful team such as ours we can definitely rebuild the WI T20 cricket team on and off the field and improve our rankings. I will remain fully committed to WI T20 team once selected."

Bravo took 3-37 in the Windies' dramatic T20 World Cup final win over England in 2016.

Quinton de Kock expects Faf du Plessis to captain South Africa in the ICC T20 World Cup next year but says he would grab the opportunity "with both hands" if he was asked to take over.

De Kock led the Proteas in a drawn Twenty20 series with India in September as Du Plessis was given a rest.

The wicketkeeper-batsman will also skipper Cape Town Blitz in the Mzansi Super League, but he believes Du Plessis will lead his country in Australia next year.

De Kock told ESPNcricinfo: "The way I see it is that I was just a replacement. That's the way I took it. For now, it's still Faf's baby. But maybe if things change and they do want me to do it, then I will do it.

"For the moment, I am not looking too far ahead. I am just trying to look at how I can help out with the youngsters, with the new guys in the T20 team and by myself, just getting better and getting ready for the T20 World Cup next year.

"But if that does come upon me, then I will try to grab it with both hands."

De Kock says South Africa can take inspiration from the way England turned around their fortunes in limited-overs cricket to win the Cricket World Cup this year.

"We are not the first team that has gone through a transition," De Kock said. "England did it after their last World Cup and look at them. Four years later, they end up winning the thing.

"It's alright if the whole country and guys are a bit down and out but when we all gather together, especially after winning this Rugby World Cup, a lot of people are pumped up.

"[People] want to get this transition going so, by the time we get to our next World Cup, we can really put ourselves in a good stead, just like England did."

Papua New Guinea dug themselves out of a hole to beat Kenya by 45 runs and qualify for the ICC T20 World Cup for the first time on Sunday.

PNG's hopes of securing direct qualification for the tournament in Australia next year were looking slim when they were reduced to 19-6 in Dubai, Emmanuel Bundi (4-18) taking three wickets in his first over.

A half-century from Norman Vanua (54 off 48 balls) enabled PNG - ranked 17th in the shortest format - to post 118 all out and that proved to be more than enough.

Kenya were going along nicely on 40-1, but only three batsmen made double figures as they were skittled out for just 73.

Nosaina Pokana (3-21) and Assad Vala (3-7) took three wickets apiece on a historic day for PNG, who finished top of Group A on net run rate ahead of Netherlands.

Netherlands defeated Scotland by four wickets but will have to go through the play-offs.

David Warner marked his return to the international Twenty20 arena with a stunning maiden century as Australia eased past Sri Lanka by 134 runs in their opening game.

Warner was back in the T20 fold for the first time since the infamous ball-tampering saga, in which the star Australia batsman served a year-long suspension.

Having already made his Test and ODI comeback, birthday boy Warner capped his T20 return with an unbeaten hundred in his 71st appearance against touring Sri Lanka in Adelaide on Sunday.

Warner led Australia to a record-breaking victory, surpassing last year's 100-run win over Zimbabwe, and their highest T20 total on home soil – 233-2 – before hapless Sri Lanka only managed 99-9 in response at Adelaide Oval.

After a forgettable Ashes series in England which only yielded 95 runs across five matches, Warner was desperate to return to form as the Australian summer got underway.

Warner was back to his brilliant best on his 33rd birthday as the big-hitting star scored 100 runs from just 56 balls in game one of the three-match series against Sri Lanka – bringing up his ton from the last delivery of the innings.

The tone was set by Warner and captain Aaron Finch (64) after Sri Lanka opted to bowl first, with the opening pair combining for 122 runs from just 10.5 overs and reaching their half-centuries in the same over.

Finch and Warner smacked consecutive sixes from Kasun Rajitha – who finished with figures of 0-75 from four overs for the most expensive spell in T20 history – before the former was caught at deep midwicket off the bowling of Lakshan Sandakan (1-41).

Glenn Maxwell (62) then joined Warner at the crease as the duo put on 107 runs from just 52 balls, though Maxwell was dismissed by Dasun Shanaka (1-10) in the last over.

Sri Lanka made a nightmare start to their run chase after Kusal Mendis fell victim to Mitchell Starc (2-18) for a duck in the first over, before the visitors were left reeling at 13-3 in the four over as Pat Cummins (2-27) wreaked havoc.

Shanaka was Sri Lanka's highest score with 17 on putrid day for Sri Lanka, with spinner Adam Zampa (3-14) cleaning up the final three wickets, while Maxwell produced a stunning piece of fielding to run out Wanindu Hasaranga (5).

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