Monday, 20 February: Betway SA20 Board Chair, Pholesti Moseki, has hailed the successful inaugural season of the competition, which he says has surpassed all expectations. The Sunrisers Eastern Cape were crowned the inaugural Champions at a sold-out Wanderers on 12 February, capping off a month of entertaining cricket, packed stadiums and an unparalleled excitement for domestic cricket.
Betway SA20 Board Chair and Cricket South Africa Chief Executive, Moseki said: “The inaugural Betway SA20 League got off to a thunderous start, surpassing all our expectations. Much as we worked hard and were intentional in positioning the Betway SA20 as the best League outside of India globally, were thrilled to see the uptake of this first season.
“From the first toss, fans flocked and packed our stadiums in numbers never seen in any of our domestic tournaments for a long time. Tickets were sold out in most matches, including the final. This confirmed to us that there is appetite and hunger for this format of cricket. It was also a humbling and gratifying realization that this product is what our fans have been yearning for.”
The success of the opening season has seen a fresh injection of appeal and glory to the domestic pipeline, giving players a global platform to showcase their skills and aspiring players a golden opportunity to strive for.
“The electrifying excitement brought about by the Betway SA20 will spill-over to create an enduring vibe in other formats of the game domestically. It is one of the abiding legacies that the League will leave behind. It is heartening that our local players had the opportunity to showcase their latent at a global stage occasioned by the tournament.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the Betway SA20 Commissioner, Graeme Smith and his team for a job well-done in bringing back the thrill of T20 cricket in South Africa and keeping the entire world entertained.
“I also congratulate Sunrisers Eastern Cape for their heart-warming and well-deserved title win of this inaugural tournament. They certainly displayed grit, focus and endurance in their campaign.
“Judging by the uptake of the first season of this tournament, I am confident that its second instalment will bring more ecstasy and excitement untold.”
The 33 matches played across six of South Africa’s premier cricket stadiums galvanised the cricket-loving public to foster new fan bases for each of the six new franchises. From the sea of blue and gold of Newlands’ faithful in Cape Town, the pink party from Paarl Royals’ supporters, the jovial Orange Army in Gqeberha, Durban’s super fans, the passion from the people of the Capital and the yellow whistles in Joburg, the six franchise have already built a steady allegiance which will only grow and flourish come season two.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]