A Gateway to Stardom for Rising Proteas
The Betway SA20 League Commissioner, Graeme Smith, has heralded the recent player auction as an "incredible opportunity" for South Africa's budding cricket stars. With the second edition of SA20 just around the corner, the excitement is palpable as six rookies and numerous young talents have earned their spots in the highly anticipated tournament, set to commence on January 10.
Stealing the spotlight at the regular auction was the 20-year-old sensation, Matthew Boast, who commanded the joint-highest purchase price of R1.6 million. The Pretoria Capitals, last season's runners-up, were quick to secure the services of this dynamic all-rounder. Graeme Smith, speaking on behalf of Betway SA20, expressed his enthusiasm for the inclusion of young talents in the league, saying, "The real highlight for us is the number of youngsters now going to be involved in the Betway SA20. For these youngsters to get their foot in the door on this type of platform is an incredible opportunity for them."
Smith emphasized that nurturing young talent is a key goal for Betway SA20, as it aims to bridge the gap between domestic and international cricket. The league aspires to cultivate future cricket stars, contributing to the consistent success of South Africa's national team. Smith also acknowledged the invaluable contribution of franchises in the areas of coaching, medical support, business management, and other aspects, believing that such collaboration can only benefit South African cricket.
All six Betway SA20 squads for Season 2 have been finalized following a thrilling mini auction. These squads boast a blend of experienced and youthful local and international stars, along with some of South Africa's most promising emerging talents, who will have the chance to shine on a global stage.
Notable additions for Season 2 include the debut of West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard for MI Cape Town, as well as the return of England's wicket-keeper batter, Phil Salt, to the Pretoria Capitals as a Wildcard. The squad signings also featured Dayyaan Galiem, who made headlines with Joburg Super Kings securing him for R1.6 million, and the experienced T20 campaigner Imran Tahir joining the Highveld team.
The rookie draft, featuring 80 players aged 22 or under who had never played in SA20 before, saw promising talents like Connor Esterhuizen (MI Cape Town), Bryce Parsons (Durban's Super Giants), Lhuan-dre Pretorius (Paarl Royals), Ronan Hermann (Joburg Super Kings), Steve Stolk (Pretoria Capitals), and Andile Simelane (Sunrisers Eastern Cape) make their mark as Betway SA20's rookie class of 2024.
Here's the full list of Betway SA20 Season 2 auction buys, setting the stage for an electrifying cricket spectacle:
Set 1: Batters
Joburg Super Kings: Wayne Madsen (R850,000)
Pretoria Capitals: Paul Stirling (R425,000)
MI Cape Town: Chris Benjamin (R175,000)
Set 2: Wicketkeepers
Pretoria Capitals: Kyle Verreynne (R175,000)
Paarl Royals: John Turner (R425,000)
Set 3: All-rounders
Joburg Super Kings: Dayyaan Galiem (R1.6 million)
Romario Shepherd (R850,000)
Pretoria Capitals: Matthew Boast (R1.6 million)
Set 4: Fast bowlers
Pretoria Capitals: Daryn Dupavillon (R600,000)
Set 5: Spinners
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: Caleb Seleka (R175,000)
Paarl Royals: Lorcan Tucker (R175,000)
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: Beyers Swanepoel (R600,000)
Durban's Super Giants: Jason Smith (R175,000)
MI Cape Town: Nealan van Heerden (R175,000); Thomas Kaber (R175,000)
MI Cape Town: Connor Esterhuizen
Durban's Super Giants: Bryce Parsons
Paarl Royals: Lhuan-dre Pretorius
Joburg Super Kings: Ronan Hermann
Pretoria Capitals: Steve Stolk
Sunrisers Eastern Cape: Andile Simelane
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]