Johannesburg:It's being dismissed by the critics as hit and giggle cricket but the Twenty20 World Cup, which begins in South Africa on Tuesday, seems to be hit and giggle in all the right ways.
Australia were hit hard by South Africa in a practice game on Sunday and it seems the hosts will be giggling all the way to the bank given the crowd response.
Just looking at the full galleries during the encounter, one would never imagine that this was just a warm-up game.
True, home favourites South Africa were playing a Twenty20 match against World Champions Australia, but getting a near-capacity crowd for this one was remarkable.
It was played in the off-season, and at a time when the country's higher-profile rugby team was playing its first world cup match.
Ticket-sale for the upcoming World championships have also exceeded expectations, with almost all big games, including the semi-final and final, already sold out.
The attractive format is clearly a hit with the local faithful and traveling fans alike.
What's been remarkable is the way the youngsters, especially pre-teens, have taken to the shortest version of the game already.
Going by the demography of ticket-buyers, the youth are better represented in the stands during this event, than any other in the history of South African cricket.
Weaning youngsters away from the football and rugby parks, and drawing them to the cricket stadium instead has been no mean feat.
"I love cricket, but I prefer the 50-over variety, because you make a day, an outing of it. Twenty20 cricket, the only thing I don't like about it is that it lasts for too short a time," said a cricket lover.
Ticket sales greatly helped the West Indies Board to reduce its overall deficit, after the last World Cup. And if current trends are anything to go by, the authorities in South Africa are looking at equally good fortunes.