We are in for a glut of international sport over the next few months. Clayton Goodwin gives you a taste of what is to come as he previews the forthcoming cricket, women's football and netball World Cups as well as championship athletics.
South Africa, in particular, and Africa generally, has the chance to make an indelible impact on international sport in an exceptional, if not quite unprecedented, programme of activity over the next few months.
The action starts with the Cricket World Cup and the Proteas playing against hosts England at the London Oval on Thursday 30 May and could end successfully with the final at Lord's, the sport's international headquarters, on Sunday 14 July.
It will overlap with the women's football World Cup in France, in which the South Africans get the ball rolling against Spain on Saturday 8 June, the same day on which Nigeria take on Norway. The final there is set for Sunday 7 July.
Less than a week later the Netball World Cup starts in Liverpool on Friday 12 July, with the final in the same city on Sunday 21 July. In addition, there is a full schedule of IAAF Diamond League athletics.
Cricket World Cup
Kagiso Rabada heads a pace attack which can provide . South Africa's cricketers with the impetus to win the World Cup, which has slipped through their hands previously. It is worrying, therefore, that in the run-up to the tournament he had to withdraw from the Indian Premier League (IPL) season H with a back niggle. At that moment he was the leading wicket-taker in the IPL 2019, with 25 dismissals from 12 games, and can claim with some justification to be the world's foremost fast bowler currently.
Rabada stands high in the renowned tradition of South African pace, along with Makhaya Ntini and Vernon Philander of recent fame, and fronts a battery of bowlers which is a match for the best batsmen in the world.
He is supported by comparative newcomer Lungisani Ngidi, as well as the seasoned Dale Steyn and seam-bowling all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.
The batting has experience in depth in veteran Hashim Amla, who has proven his Hi worth already on English pitches, high-scoring wicketkeeper batsman Quinton de Kock, and lower-order contributions from captain Faf du Plessis and potential anchorman J.P. Duminy.
The South Africans are favoured with three preliminary round matches in London, whereas West Indies, for example, have to play all their games away from the capital. The clash between South Africa and West Indies...