SA20, a thrilling Twenty20 franchise cricket tournament, has taken the cricketing world by storm in South Africa. Organized by Cricket South Africa (CSA), this tournament has quickly gained popularity since its inception in 2023. Let’s delve into the fascinating journey of SA20.
A New Era Dawns
In 2023, SA20 emerged as a breath of fresh air in South African cricket. With Cricket South Africa (CSA) at the helm, this Twenty20 franchise tournament brought a new level of excitement and competitiveness to the South African cricketing landscape.
A Competition of Six
SA20 is contested by six teams, each proudly representing a city in South Africa. This dynamic and diverse lineup of teams has infused energy and enthusiasm into the competition. With matches played across the country, fans from all regions have their favorite teams to support.
- Durban’s Super Giants: Despite being a strong contender, they finished 6th in the season.
- Joburg Super Kings: They made it to the semi-finals, underlining their competitive spirit.
- MI Cape Town: Finished 5th, showing glimpses of their potential.
- Paarl Royals: Another semi-finalist, they displayed their mettle in the competition.
- Pretoria Capitals: The runners-up of the season, they narrowly missed the title.
- Sunrisers Eastern Cape: The champions, who celebrated their victory with a dynamic style of play.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape Shine Bright
The inaugural season of SA20 was nothing short of spectacular. The competition was fierce, and the stakes were high. However, it was Sunrisers Eastern Cape who emerged as the first champions of SA20, etching their name in the annals of South African cricket history.
A Journey of Transformation
Cricket South Africa’s journey to create a successful T20 tournament has seen its fair share of challenges and transformations. The franchise T20 Global League was established in 2017 but faced a delay due to the absence of a broadcast deal and title sponsor. In its place, the Mzansi Super League was introduced in 2018, but both leagues faced challenges.
The Mzansi Super League ran for two seasons before being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 editions.
The Birth of SA20
In 2022, CSA embarked on a new path with the establishment of SA20. This transformation was facilitated through the creation of Africa Cricket Development (Pty) Limited (ACD). CSA, as the majority stakeholder with a 50% share, worked alongside broadcaster SuperSport, which holds a 30% share. Sundar Raman, former Indian Premier League (IPL) Chief Operating Officer, contributed the remaining 20%.
A Bold Step Forward
All six SA20 teams have made headlines by being purchased by franchises from the Indian Premier League (IPL). This alliance between the two leagues has added a global touch to the South African T20 cricket scene.
The Cost of Ambition
In July 2022, CSA made the bold decision to cancel the One Day International series against Australia, originally scheduled for January 2023. This sacrifice was necessary to ensure the success of SA20, highlighting the commitment of CSA to develop and promote T20 cricket in the nation.
Leadership and Vision
August 2022 marked another significant milestone with the announcement of Graeme Smith as the tournament’s commissioner. This former South African cricket captain brings invaluable experience and insight to the competition.
The Auction System
One unique aspect of SA20 is the player acquisition process. Unlike traditional drafts, SA20 teams acquire players through an auction system. This approach has set SA20 apart as the second cricket league in the world, after the Indian Premier League, to adopt such a mechanism.
The Squad Dynamics
Each SA20 team is empowered to build a squad of 17 players, with the option to secure up to five players before the auction. These five may include three international players, one South African international player, and one uncapped South African player. This diverse mix of talents ensures that teams have the flexibility to create a balanced and competitive playing XI.
SuperSport, Sky Sports and the Sports18 network broadcast the tournament in South Africa, the United Kingdom and India respectively.
As of January 2023, Betway SA20 and Sky Sports have a five-year contract to broadcast the T20 cricket league.
List of broadcasters
|Territory||Rights holder(s)||Digital rights|
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports Cricket,|
|Australia||Foxtel TV||Kayo Sports|
Willow TV Xtra
|New Zealand||Sky Sports|
Sky Sports 3
|FAF DU PLESSIS||11||369|
|R VAN DER MERWE||10||20|
As SA20 continues to captivate cricket enthusiasts and fans across South Africa, the tournament promises to be a significant milestone in the country’s cricketing journey. With a commitment to innovation, talent development, and fan engagement, SA20 is set to leave an indelible mark on the world of T20 cricket.