The SA20 is the newest franchise cricket tournament which launched in January 2023 in South Africa. It has been a great success in the early stages of the campaign, something which will leave the organizers delighted.
The idea to create a new franchise competition in South Africa was revealed in June 2022. It was an ambitious plan, as at that stage, they did not have any teams or players committed to featuring in the league in 2023.
South Africa are used to hosting major sports evening. In 2010, the country hosted the World Cup, with the FIFA event proving to be a huge success. Organizers of the SA20 will be hoping their league also proves to be a big hit.
After being purchased by six owners from the Indian Premier League, the inaugural teams set to compete in the 2023 IPL were announced back in July. This was a big step, as not only would each team have the right financial backing, their owners have experience competing in franchise T20 cricket.
As the BBC reported, former South Africa opening batsman Graeme Smith was named the league’s first commissioner in August 2022. He has worked hard to ensure the venues, schedule and rules were all right for the league. An important objective for Smith was to create a vision that helped grow the sport in the country.
The opening games so far have been exciting. They have mirrored what has been seen in the likes of the IPL, The Hundred, Big Bash, and Caribbean Premier League, the other leading franchise T20 leagues around the world.
The key to the success of any major league in the world is the ability to attract some of the best players from that sport. As we saw with Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al Nassr, with the right money, the best players will be tempted. SA20 were able sign up some huge stars at the auction which took place on September 19, 2022.
As of January 16, MI Cape Town is the 9/4 favorite in the betting with Betway for SA2023. They drafted a strong team which is led by Afghanistan’s star player Rashid Khan. He is regarded as one of the best T20 players in the world.
Khan is supported in Cape Town by Sam Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Dewald Brevis, Jofra Archer, and Liam Livingstone, in what is a strong team. They showed how much quality they have when they defeated Paarl Royals by eight wickets in the opening game of the competition.
A T20 legend! 👑💗 pic.twitter.com/LXFRRYPCbZ— Paarl Royals (@paarlroyals) January 13, 2023
The Royals’ roster includes Jos Buttler and David Miller, two of the in-form players with the bat in international T20 cricket over the last six months. With the ball, they have Obed McCoy, Lungi Ngidi, and Tabraiz Shamsi, so they will be expected to be challengers for the trophy.
Other international players competing in the SA20 this year include Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, Dilshan Madushanka, Phil Salt, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, and James Neesham. Many of those players feature in the IPL, the benchmark for any franchise cricket league when it comes to quality and success.
To separate themselves from other cricket leagues, Smith announced some rules which are exclusive to SA20, as revealed by India Today. These have been included to try and make the games even more exciting on the field.
Each winning team during an SA20 match will pick up four points towards their tally. However, if they have a run rate that is 1.25 higher than their opponent’s, they will pick up a bonus point. This should encourage teams to be more attacking during the competition.
Another notable rule that fans are likely to be excited about is that if a fielder hits the wickets trying to run a batsman out, then the batting team cannot pick up any further runs if the ball deflects off the wickets. This should see fielders attempt to hit the stumps more often.
Before an SA20 game begins, each captain is allowed to name 13 players in their team. They then must reduce that number down to 11 following the coin toss. This allows them to consider the team they want to play based on whether they are setting a target or chasing. The two players who missed out on the starting 11 can be used as substitutes during the game.
The inaugural final of the 2023 SA20 takes place on February 11 at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. As the Super Bowl is for the NFL, that is set to be a big event, with music and entertainment also set to be scheduled before and during the final.