An array of new features awaits cricket enthusiasts as the highly anticipated Betway SA20 Season 2 gears up to launch a scintillating summer spectacle. Set to commence on January 10, 2024, the tournament boasts an action-packed schedule of 34 matches, unveiling a fresh playoff structure and revamped mid-week match timings.
Tuesday, August 15, 2023: Prepare for the return of Betway SA20, as it promises to deliver another sensational season of world-class cricket and entertainment in its highly awaited Season 2. The cricketing extravaganza will showcase the finest talent from South Africa alongside top-notch international cricketers across 34 thrilling encounters at six esteemed venues across the nation. The journey will commence on Wednesday, January 10, culminating in an electrifying Final showdown on Saturday, February 10.
The opening week will witness each team hosting a home match, fueling the intense rivalries and captivating city-based competitions among the six franchises affiliated with the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The reigning champions, Sunrisers Eastern Cape, will ignite the season with a clash against Joburg Super Kings (JSK) at St George's Park on January 10, marking the tournament's curtain-raiser.
Following the opening match in Gqeberha, the excitement will surge as Durban's Super Giants (DSG) lock horns with MI Cape Town in a coastal derby at Kingsmead on January 11. Subsequently, on January 12, Paarl Royals and the previous season's runners-up, Pretoria Capitals, will engage in a gripping encounter at Boland Park.
The Wanderers stadium will set the stage for a blockbuster opening weekend as JSK faces MI Cape Town on January 13 at 1:30 PM, followed by a clash between Sunrisers and DSG at St George's Park at 5:30 PM.
The action-packed momentum will then shift to the capital city, where Pretoria Capitals will welcome Paarl Royals to Centurion for a brand-new Sunday kickoff at 3:30 PM.
The Newlands stadium will witness MI Cape Town hosting their inaugural home match on January 16 against the reigning champions, Sunrisers.
In a strategic move, Season 2 introduces an innovative playoff structure, featuring Qualifier 1, Eliminator, and Qualifier 2 matches, leading up to the grand Final. Qualifier 1 will showcase the top two teams battling it out, followed by the Eliminator between the third and fourth-ranked teams. The loser of Qualifier 1 and the victor of the Eliminator will face off in Qualifier 2, vying for a spot in the Final against the winner of Qualifier 1.
Adding to the excitement, mid-week matches have been rescheduled to commence at 5:30 PM, allowing fans to indulge in a post-work and post-school cricketing feast during weekdays.
The exhilarating fixture announcement took place in Johannesburg, attended by key stakeholders, media representatives, players from the franchise teams, and Betway SA20 League Commissioner Graeme Smith. Anticipation is mounting as the countdown continues toward the January 10 kick-off.
Graeme Smith, the League Commissioner, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "With the Season 2 auction around the corner, the momentum is building and we are thrilled to announce these fixtures. We have a jam-packed opening week of matches which will captivate fans around the country."
The riveting matches will once again be broadcast live across seven territories through SuperSport in Sub-Saharan Africa, Viacom 18 in India, Sky Sports in the UK, Fox Sports in Australasia, Etisalat in the UAE, and globally via ICC TV. Cricket enthusiasts can also stay engaged with the action through Betway SA20's social media channels, featuring live updates and comprehensive coverage of all 34 matches.
In South Africa, SA20 Season 1 reigned as the most-watched sports event on average on SuperSport Premium during its run, garnering a cumulative viewership of 8.96 million.
India, a pivotal market due to its six IPL-linked local franchises, recorded an astounding 5 billion viewing time minutes, reaching 131 million individuals and amassing 104 million digital video views.
All six franchises have unveiled their preliminary squads and will finalize their 19-player rosters at the auction scheduled for September 27.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
The age-old rivalry between South Africa and New Zealand in the world of rugby is set to be reignited on August 25th at London's Twickenham Stadium, where the two nations will compete for the newly introduced Qatar Airways Cup.
Scheduled to kick off at 19:30 local time (20:30 South Africa time), this highly anticipated match will mark the first encounter between these two rugby powerhouses at Twickenham since 2015. The event carries additional significance as Qatar Airways takes the center stage as the title sponsor of the fixture.
With a track record of winning the "World's Best Airline" title seven times, as determined by Skytrax, Qatar Airways will play a significant role in facilitating the participation of rugby enthusiasts from around the globe. The airline connects to over 160 destinations, including key South African cities such as Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, expressed his pride in supporting this historic rivalry: "The South African and New Zealand teams are giants in the world of rugby, and we are excited to be part of this journey, while uniting the fans before the start of the world cup."
Emphasizing the airline's commitment to fostering global connections through travel and sports, Al Baker added, "Qatar Airways has a long history of supporting global sports, including rugby, Formula 1, and football. We believe in bringing people from all over the world closer together through travel and sport and are proud to continue the expansion of our sports partnership’s portfolio."
The Springboks, reigning World Champions, will be seeking redemption after their recent loss to the All Blacks in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, where they were defeated 35-20 in Auckland. The teams' last encounter at Twickenham occurred eight years ago, resulting in New Zealand's narrow 20-18 victory.
Rugby enthusiasts and fans of both teams are encouraged to secure their tickets for this monumental match through the official channels provided, such as www.eticketing.co.uk/rfu/events or https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/35005D52BE1F72A6. Additionally, hospitality packages starting from £299 per person can be accessed via www.twickenhamstadium.com.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
In a significant development, Siya Kolisi will make his return as Springbok captain for the upcoming duel against Wales, marking his first Test appearance of the year. The clash is set to take place this Saturday at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, as part of the team's second World Cup warm-up match. Alongside Kolisi, Ox Nche and Jaden Hendrikse are also making their return to the Test arena after overcoming injuries and personal setbacks.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has assembled an experienced lineup in a bid to build momentum and cohesion within the squad ahead of the Rugby World Cup, scheduled to kick off in France on September 8th. Nienaber's tactical move sees several changes to the starting team that secured a victory over Argentina, with the notable inclusions of Kolisi, Nche, and Hendrikse.
The forward pack sees the reunion of seasoned players Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, and Malcolm Marx, while the Muster lock duo of Jean Kleyn and RG Snyman will debut as a pair in Springbok jerseys. The loose trio presents a new composition, with Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit teaming up with Jasper Wiese. In the backline, Hendrikse will pair up with regular flyhalf Manie Libbok, while Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel reunite in the midfield.
Excitement is building as Cheslin Kolbe joins the left wing, flanking veteran fullback Willie le Roux and right wing Canan Moodie, forming an electrifying back three. With a six-two split in favor of forwards on the bench, Nche, Vincent Koch, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert, Marco van Staden, and Duane Vermeulen stand ready to make their impact felt when called upon. Among the replacements, Grant Williams and Damian Willemse offer versatile options to bolster the team.
Nienaber's focus is clear as the team approaches its World Cup campaign. He stated, "We have two Tests left before we begin our Rugby World Cup campaign and our focus now is to start building momentum and continuity so that we can peak at the right time for our opening game against Scotland in just under four weeks."
As anticipation builds, Nienaber expects a tough encounter against Wales and emphasizes the need for both mental and physical preparedness. He remarked, "Wales are a gutsy team, and similarly to the Pumas, they don't hold back... we expect it to be an epic battle."
The Springbok squad features a blend of experience and fresh energy, with Kolisi's return, Nche's comeback from injury, and Hendrikse's readiness to take the field. All eyes will be on the clash against Wales as the team aims to fine-tune its form and strategy ahead of the Rugby World Cup.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]
As the calendar inches closer to the turn of the year, the world of cricket enthusiasts is bracing for an electrifying spectacle with the arrival of Betway SA20 Season 2, set to commence on January 10, 2024. With the promise of riveting matches, formidable players, and intense rivalries, this cricketing fiesta is all set to elevate the sport to new heights in a month-long showdown.
Clash of Titans: Season 2's Opening Week
The grand stage of Betway SA20 Season 2 opens with a fervor that matches the summer's heat. Six IPL-linked teams, infused with South Africa's cricketing prowess and international star power, will ignite the competition with their opening matches. Kicking off the frenzy, defending champions Sunrisers Eastern Cape will lock horns with Joburg Super Kings (JSK) at St George's Park on January 10. This battle sets the tone for a series of intense confrontations and captivating performances that will keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Evolution in Structure: Redesigned Playoff Format
Season 2 introduces an intriguing twist with a revised playoff structure, adding a new layer of anticipation to the proceedings. The road to the coveted championship trophy now involves a Qualifier 1, an Eliminator, and a Qualifier 2, culminating in the ultimate clash, the Final. The top two teams will engage in Qualifier 1, while the third and fourth-placed teams battle it out in the Eliminator. The drama escalates as the loser of Qualifier 1 and the victor of the Eliminator cross paths in Qualifier 2, aiming for a shot at challenging the Qualifier 1 winner in the climactic Final.
Weeknight Cricket Thrills and Weekend Spectacles
Season 2 acknowledges the passion of cricket enthusiasts by presenting mid-week matches that begin at 17h30, allowing fans to unwind with a dose of cricket magic after their workday or school commitments. The weekends, already a cricket lover's delight, promise enthralling evening viewing. This well-thought-out schedule ensures that cricket aficionados don't miss a single captivating moment.
Global Engagement and Encompassing Coverage
Betway SA20 League's appeal transcends borders, captivating audiences across seven territories. Fans spanning Sub-Saharan Africa, India, the UK, Australasia, the UAE, and beyond will experience the live action on various broadcasting platforms. Enriching the experience, the league's robust social media channels will provide real-time updates, immersing fans in the cricketing euphoria and ensuring that no significant moment goes unnoticed.
Basking in Past Glory and Awaiting the Auction
Reflecting on the success of Season 1, where it earned accolades as one of the most-watched sporting events on SuperSport Premium and garnered a colossal viewership in India, the excitement surrounding Season 2 is palpable. The upcoming auction on September 27, where the franchise teams finalize their 19-player rosters, adds a layer of intrigue, setting the stage for a dynamic and fiercely competitive season.
As the cricketing fraternity gears up for this grand showcase, Betway SA20 Season 2 promises to deliver unmatched thrills, unforgettable moments, and unparalleled entertainment, marking its place as an unmissable event on the cricketing calendar.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]
South Africa's cricket landscape is abuzz with the announcement of the squad for their upcoming white-ball series against Australia, with young batting sensation Dewald Brevis capturing the spotlight. The 20-year-old prodigy, who topped the run charts at the 2022 Under-19 World Cup, has been selected to represent his nation in both the T20I and ODI formats. Having showcased his talent in various franchise leagues, including the IPL, CPL, and MLC, Brevis has earned a much-deserved international call-up.
Brevis's inclusion in the squad is aimed at providing him with exposure to international cricket, rather than as a mere audition for the impending World Cup. As confirmed by South Africa's coach Rob Walter, Brevis will slot into the middle order, deviating from his usual opening role. The coaching staff aims to create a nurturing environment for Brevis to express himself on the grand stage.
Walter commented, "We want to just broaden our base a little bit and this Australia series is an opportunity to give him a run. He [Brevis] is a fairly grounded young guy. It's just about creating an environment to express himself in."
Keshav Maharaj, the experienced spinner, is also a prominent name in the discussions. Having recovered ahead of expectations from a ruptured Achilles, Maharaj is under consideration for the World Cup. Despite the challenging nature of his injury, the management is optimistic about his match readiness. "He has done exceptionally well to this point. He is ahead of where we thought he would be, so things look positive," said Walter. Maharaj's inclusion in the squad for the second and third T20Is hinges on his match fitness. The management remains hopeful that he will participate in the ODIs leading up to the World Cup.
South Africa's World Cup squad, set to be announced on September 5, may witness further changes before the final squad submission on September 27. As the nation gears up for the cricketing spectacle, the likes of Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Bjorn Fortuin are in contention for the two spinners' spots in the final fifteen.
In an effort to optimize performance, key players including Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, and Kagiso Rabada will be rested for the T20Is to ensure they are in peak condition for the ODIs and the World Cup.
As the cricket fraternity awaits the series against Australia, all eyes are on the emerging talents and established stars as they aim to shape South Africa's trajectory in the lead-up to the much-anticipated World Cup.
Make it concise
Title: Dewald Brevis Joins South Africa's Squad for White-Ball Series vs Australia
Published on [Date]
Promising Addition: South Africa's Dewald Brevis, the standout performer at the U-19 World Cup, secures a spot in the T20I and ODI squads for the Australia series. His call-up emphasizes exposure rather than auditioning for the World Cup. Coach Rob Walter confirms Brevis will bat in the middle order, offering him a nurturing platform to showcase his skills.
Maharaj's Return: Spinner Keshav Maharaj's faster-than-expected recovery from an Achilles injury positions him for the World Cup. His inclusion in the T20I squad depends on match fitness, with hopes of participating in the ODIs ahead of the tournament.
Squad Dynamics: South Africa's World Cup squad announcement on September 5 may see alterations before the final submission on September 27. Notable players like Maharaj, Shamsi, and Fortuin vie for two spinner spots in the final XV.
Strategic Rest: Key players including de Kock, Klaasen, Miller, Nortje, and Rabada will sit out the T20Is to ensure peak performance in the ODIs and World Cup.
Anticipation Builds: As South Africa gears up for the series against Australia, emerging talents and established stars hold the reins, shaping the nation's trajectory in the run-up to the World Cup.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has embraced a more adaptable approach to fitness standards for both male and female athletes, allowing players failing to meet certain criteria to still play at the discretion of national coaches. While CSA no longer rigidly enforces the completion of a two-kilometer run within a specified time or adherence to recommended skinfold measures, a document shared with players underlines the "strong recommendation" that those not meeting minimum fitness levels "should not take the field in an official match."
The authority to determine a player's participation rests with the respective coaches, namely Rob Walter for the men's white-ball team, Shukri Conrad for the men's red-ball team, and Hilton Moreeng for the women's team.
Enoch Nkwe, CSA's Director of Cricket, explained the change as a response to evolving needs. "We had a medical conference in June and we decided to allow the medical team to work out a better way forward," he shared with ESPNcricinfo. The move reflects CSA's recognition of the need for flexibility, placing trust in coaches' decision-making capacities due to their familiarity with the team's environment.
This policy revision follows instances from last year where key players such as former captain Dane van Niekerk, batter Lizelle Lee, and bowler Sisanda Magala were sidelined due to fitness criteria non-compliance. Acknowledging that the selectors have the discretion to assess a player's fitness on a case-by-case basis, the new approach aims to prevent the undue sidelining of players due to strict adherence to metrics.
The "fit-to-play" standards for the 2023-24 season remain unchanged for both men and women. Male players are expected to complete a two-kilometer run within 8.30 minutes and maintain skinfold measurements of 85mm or less. Women have a parallel standard, requiring completion within 9.30 minutes and skinfolds under 100mm. While male provincial players share the international standard, their female counterparts are allowed some leniency, with a time frame of 10.15 minutes and skinfolds below 120mm.
CSA's initiative extends to an "elite standard" where players accomplishing the run in under 7.45 minutes (men) and under 9.00 minutes (women) are recognized. While CSA seeks to encourage players to aim for excellence, there is no information on any accompanying incentives for achieving the elite status.
Players will undergo fitness evaluations twice a season, with one assessment prior to the September commencement and the other mid-season, spanning December to January. The prescribed test recommends a warm-up involving ten minutes of running and dynamic stretching, allowing walking breaks during the trial. The stipulation mandates outdoor completion, preferably on an athletic track, precluding indoor or treadmill running.
The overhaul in CSA's fitness standards underscores a commitment to fostering an environment of growth and performance excellence, setting a fresh precedent in player assessment protocols.
[Submitted by Estea Rademeyer]
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named 21 players with Rugby World Cup experience (nine of whom will be appearing at their third RWC tournament) when he revealed the defending champion’s squad of 33 players for the 2023 edition in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Nienaber’s squad featured a strong mix of experience and some of the best up-and-coming young players in the country, while there was disappointment for three of the starting XV from the 32-12 victory over England in Japan four years ago, who were ruled out by injury and illness.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard (calf), Lukhanyo Am (knee) and Lood de Jager (chest problem) have been placed on standby with six other players. The Springbok coaches were hopeful that they may return to full training before the start of the tournament and be available for call-up in the event of injury.
Meanwhile props Frans Malherbe and Trevor Nyakane, lock Eben Etzebeth, loose forwards Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen, centres Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel and fullback Willie le Roux will feature in their third World Cup tournaments and are among a large group of players who were members of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning squad.
Also returning from 2019 are Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch (props), Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx (hookers), RG Snyman (lock), Kwagga Smith, (loose forward), Franco Mostert (utility forward), Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach (scrumhalves), Damian Willemse (utility back), Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi (wings).
Making their first appearance at a Rugby World Cup are Ox Nche (prop), Jean Kleyn and Marvin Orie (locks), Marco van Staden and Jasper Wiese (loose forwards), Deon Fourie (utility forward), Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams (scrumhalves), Manie Libbok (flyhalf), Andre Esterhuizen (centre), Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie (outside backs).
The squad comprises 19 forwards and 14 backline players.
“This was one of the hardest selections we have ever had to make,” said Nienaber.
“Any of the 42-man training squad would do a great job but injuries have played a part in the final selection and time unfortunately ran out for some real champions.
“However, we said from the outset that we wanted to name the best 33 players for the World Cup, and after giving 38 players a run in the last four Tests we are pleased with the make-up of the group, and we know we have proper depth in each position.
“We’ve picked a squad with a bunch of the players who can also cover alternative positions, which we’ll need in a very tough World Cup.
“We were in a great position this year to have so many players knocking on the door for selection but unfortunately, we could only select 33. Injuries have had a hand in the final selection, but they are part of the game, and we are excited about the quality of the players who can step in and perform at World Cup level – as many of the players who featured against Argentina showed last weekend.”
Nienaber also announced that nine players would be placed on standby – five of whom will travel with the team to Cardiff and London for their last two RWC warm-up matches against Wales (19 August) and New Zealand (25 August).
The nine players are Am (centre), De Jager (lock), Jean-Luc du Preez (utility forward), Thomas du Toit (prop), Joseph Dweba (hooker), Herschel Jantjies (scrumhalf), Pollard (flyhalf), Evan Roos (No 8) and Gerhard Steenekamp (prop). The five travelling to the UK on Saturday are Du Toit, Du Preez, Dweba, Pollard and Am.
Nienaber said: “Since Rassie (Erasmus – SA Rugby Director of Rugby) and I returned to South Africa in 2018 we’ve been building to the 2023 World Cup, and we are pleased with where we are, going into this World Cup.
“The coaches and players have put in a helluva lot work in the last few years, and we have the luxury of naming a squad that features a big group of players who know what it takes to win a World Cup and who will enter the tournament with vast international experience.
“The younger players have also showed in the last two seasons that they can match some of the top players in the world, so we believe we are better prepared as a team going into this tournament.
“We still have two warm-up games left and a road to travel to build player combinations and fine tune the areas of our game that we feel we need to improve on, so we are by no means the final product at this stage.”
Kolisi, who is expected to be back in action against Wales in two weeks, will captain the Springbok team for the second time at the Rugby World Cup when they take the field in France. Nche and Hendrikse – who have not appeared for the Boks in the past four matches – are also expected to return in the final two warm-up matches.
Am suffered a knee injury in the team’s 24-13 victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires and is expected to be out of action for four weeks, while De Jager is undergoing specialist evaluation for a chest problem. Pollard, meanwhile, has been on the sidelines with a calf injury since joining the team in June and will continue to work with the Bok medical team to return to full fitness.
South Africa will launch their Rugby World Cup title defence on Sunday, 10 September, against Scotland in Marseille, which will be followed by pool matches against Romania in Bordeaux (17 September), Ireland in Paris (23 September) and Tonga in Marseille (1 October).
The Rugby World Cup quarter-finals will be played on the weekend of 14/15 October, with the semi-finals on 20/21 October and the final on Saturday, 28 October.
Springbok Rugby World Cup squad:
Props: Steven Kitshoff (Ulster – 74 caps, 10 points), Vincent Koch (Cell C Sharks – 45 caps, 0 points), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers – 61 caps, 5 points), Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks – 19 caps, 0 points), Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92 – 61 caps, 5 points).
Hookers: Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks – 60 caps, 60 points), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears – 61 caps, 75 points).
Locks: Eben Etzebeth (Cell C Sharks – 112 caps, 25 points), Jean Kleyn (Munster – 2 caps, 0 points), Marvin Orie (Perpignan – 14 caps, 0 points), RG Snyman (Munster – 26 caps, 5 points).
Loose Forwards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz – 69 caps, 30 points), Siya Kolisi (captain – Racing 92 – 75 caps, 45 points), Kwagga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs – 33 caps, 25 points), Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls – 12 caps, 0 points), Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby – 68 caps, 15 points), Jasper Wiese (Leicester – 22 caps, 5 points).
Utility Forwards: Deon Fourie (DHL Stormers – 7 caps, 0 points), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat – 65 caps, 15 points).
Scrumhalves: Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles – 48 caps, 44 points), Jaden Hendrikse (Cell C Sharks – 12 caps, 12 points), Cobus Reinach (Montpelllier – 25 caps, 45 points), Grant Williams (Cell C Sharks – 4 caps, 0 points).
Flyhalves: Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers – 7 caps, 45 points), Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers – 31 caps, 36 points).
Centres: Damian de Allende (Panasonic Wild Knights – 72 caps, 50 points), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins – 13 caps, 0 points), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles – 61 caps, 60 points).
Outside Backs: Kurt-Lee Arendse (Vodacom Bulls – 9 caps, 50 points), Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath – 25 caps, 81 points), Willie le Roux (Vodacom Bulls – 86 caps, 65 points), Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks – 38 caps, 115 points), Canan Moodie (Vodacom Bulls – 6 caps, 10 points).
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
Johannesburg, 2 August 2023 – The DP World Lions are thrilled to welcome former Protea Captain, batsman and multiple record holder, Hashim Amla as the teams batting coach.
Commencing immediately, the three-year partnership will see Amla work alongside DP World Lions Head Coach Russell Domingo in all three formats of the game.
40-year-old Amla was a run scoring machine with multiple records to his name including
being named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2013. Having played in all three formats of the game, Amla holds the record for the fastest ever player to score 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 ODI runs. He also became the fastest cricketer to reach 10 ODI centuries and in January 2018, breaking Virat Kohli’s record for being the fastest cricketer to reach 27 centuries in ODI cricket.
Lions Cricket CEO Jono Leaf-Wright comments on the second significant coach signing this season; “Our intentions were clear when we secured the services of the brains trust of Russell
Domingo. We’ve now further stamped our authority on our quest for domestic dominance with one of the country’s greatest ever cricketers in Hashim Amla joining our family. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to him, Sumaiyah and his greater family for agreeing to walk this journey with us. The impact that this mastermind leader will make on our talents, is
immeasurable and we are both thankful and thrilled to have him join us.”
Having retired from all forms of cricket in January 2023, the Durban born former Protea captain says that he’s relishing the opportunity that lies ahead;
“I am truly delighted to work with Lions Cricket. They are one of the largest Protea producing teams in the country and to work with their players is an honour. The head coach Russel
Domingo and I go back many years: I had him as a coach whilst with the Proteas and his
experience as an international coach is something I am eager to team up with and share in. A sincere appreciation must go to the Lions Cricket CEO Jono and to my manager Ismail for bringing this together seamlessly. The domestic game is the base for all quality cricketers who desire longevity in their careers and to be a part of that excites me.”
DP World Lions Head Coach Russell Domingo says;
“I am ecstatic that Hashim has joined us. His record speaks for itself and being able to tap into that experience will be massively beneficial for our players. He is a legend of our game and I am sure he will make a significant impact within our Pride.”
The DP World Lions batting coach will commence his duties with immediate effect, with the pre-season already underway for the current CSA One Day Cup champions.
The season is fast approaching, and we are excited to have our fans and friends pack out the DP World Wanderers stadium to support our Teams and help the Lion roar loud and proud!
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
The Springboks fought back with three tries in the second half – after falling 17-0 down in the opening quarter hour – but two scores in the final 10 minutes by the home team, blew out the score once again to leave the tourists bitterly disappointed.
The second of the Boks’ tries had closed the gap to eight points at 23-15 midway through the second half as they stormed back into contention, fueled by the energy of the Bomb Squad, but that was the high-point for the visitors as the All Blacks once again converted the sniff of a chance into seven points from wing Will Jordan try to restore the home team’s cushion with 11 minutes to go.
A fast and furious start by the All Blacks – keeping the tempo high with a short-passing game and a punishing kicking game – had set the Boks well and truly on their heels as the home team surged into a 17-0 lead in 15 minutes as the Springboks chased shadows in the opening quarter.
Scrumhalf Aaron Smith was untouched for the first of New Zealand’s two tries in that period, given a scoring run in by Jordan who regained his feet from Bok fullback Wille le Roux’s tackle to curve infield from 30 metres and supply his supporting halfback on the inside.
Powerful loose foward Shannon Frizell thundered through a couple of tackles in the left-hand corner for the second against the back-pedaling defence and, with Richie Mo’unga (flyhalf) converting both and adding a penalty from in front for offside, the Springboks had a mountain to climb.
It had appeared the first steps were taken in the opening half as first Cheslin Kolbe (wing) and then Eben Etzebeth (lock) crossed the line for TMO referrals. Kolbe was ruled not to have grounded the ball as it bobbled between his legs after Beauden Barrett (fullback) fumbled a high ball on the goal-line. Etzebeth’s referral was halted for an earlier neck roll by his lock partner, Lood de Jager.
The entry of the Bomb Squad at the start of the second half began to properly turn the tide as the Boks’ energy levels lifted and their swarming defence and eager carrying drove back the All Blacks.
In the 53rd minute a powerful maul saw replacement hooker Malcolm Marx get what all hoped was the crucial first score of the half.
That was followed by an absolute beauty from Kolbe, swallow-diving in from five metres after a beautiful floated cut-out pass from Le Roux took out the All Blacks’ defence.
But a cross-kick from Beauden Barrett to Jordan for his try (69th minute) and then Mo’unga (77th minute) cruising in down the blindside of an attacking scrum shattered the Boks’ hopes of what would have been a miraculous recovery.
There was time for the livewire flanker Kwagga Smith to strip a ruck and power over from ten metres just before the final siren, which came as Kolbe ran back the kick off and was taken into touch deep in the home team’s half. It summed up the Boks’ evening, promising at times but ultimately falling short.
Springboks 20 (3) – Tries: Malcolm Marx, Cheslin Kolbe, Kwagga Smith. Conversion: Kolbe. Penalty goal: Faf de Klerk.
New Zealand 35 (20) – Tries: Aaron Smith, Shannon Frizell, Will Jordan, Richie Mo’unga. Conversions: Mo’unga (3). Penalty goals: Mo’unga (3).
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]
The story of Luton Town Football Club is one that captures the essence of romance and underdog triumph in the world of football. Rising from non-league football to the Premier League in just over a decade is a remarkable achievement that showcases the club's resilience and determination. With limited financial resources, a modest fan base, and a historic past, Luton Town's ascent into the top flight is a testament to the magic of the beautiful game.
A Humble Background:
Luton Town's journey to the Premier League is all the more impressive considering their modest resources. With one of the lowest wage bills in the Championship and an average attendance of less than 10,000, the club operates on a much smaller scale compared to football giants like Manchester United or Manchester City. Despite these challenges, Luton Town has embraced the role of David against a room full of Goliaths, defying the odds and capturing the imagination of football fans across the country.
The Glory Days and the Fall:
Luton Town's last taste of top-flight football came in 1992, the same year the Premier League was born. During their heyday, the club enjoyed an extended period in the first tier, nurturing talented players who went on to have successful careers. Their crowning achievement came in 1988 when they lifted the Football League Cup, defeating Arsenal 3-2 in a thrilling final. However, a decline in fortunes saw Luton Town slide down the leagues, eventually facing a harsh points deduction and the prospect of non-league football.
The Battle for Progress:
One of the challenges Luton Town faces is the outdated Kenilworth Road, their beloved home ground. The club has been striving for decades to secure a new stadium, and plans for the Power Court, a 23,000-seat arena near Luton railway station, are currently underway, set to be completed by 2026. While their current stadium restricts revenue growth, the potential move to a new venue offers exciting possibilities for the club's future.
The Financial Impact of Promotion:
The allure of Premier League football lies not only in the on-field success but also in the substantial financial benefits it brings. The broadcasting money alone can amount to over £170 million over three years. Even if Luton Town were to face relegation, the club would still enjoy significant financial rewards. Their earnings of £17.7 million in 2022 could potentially exceed £120 million in the 2023-24 season. The financial windfall can provide a much-needed boost and place the club on a stronger financial footing for the future.
The Challenges of Staying in the Premier League:
While the road to the Premier League is challenging, the journey doesn't end there. The real test lies in staying among the elite clubs. History shows that the majority of promoted teams struggle to retain their top-flight status beyond their first season. However, Luton Town's well-managed approach, pragmatism, and realistic aspirations position them well for the challenges that lie ahead. The club has learned from past mistakes and understands the importance of smart strategies, including player trading, community engagement, and youth development, to sustain their progress.
A Source of Pride and Inspiration:
Luton Town's return to the top of English football is not only a source of pride for the club and its fans but also a morale-boosting moment for the entire town. With a population of over a quarter of a million people and a growing airport, hosting a Premier League club should have a positive impact on the local community. Luton's industrial decline, though in close proximity to London, has made the club a symbol
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]