The timing of the inaugural SA20 – the country’s newly launched twenty20 domestic competition which starts today – probably couldn’t have come at a better time.
In short, South African cricket needs a massive boost. A number of off-field scandals resulting in loss of sponsorships and public trust, the recent woes of the national team, both in long and short forms of the game, and the sheer lack of marketability of our domestic cricket has left the sport in the dumps.
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It’s in desperate need of revival. Whether the sixteam, month-long, 33-match tournament will be SA cricket’s saviour remains to be seen, but it is clear something had to happen.
SA cricket also just don’t have money. This tournament will inject plenty of cash into their coffers as all six teams are owned by Indian Premier League franchises, which reportedly paid heaps of money to acquire them.
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We’ve seen how successful and popular the various T20 competitions around the world have become if you look at the IPL, the Big Bash in Australia and the Hundred in England.
While it’s far too early to predict if the SA20 will even achieve a fraction of the success of those tournaments, it’s at least a start.
For the next few weeks though, let’s just enjoy the sixes, the wickets and hopefully the packed crowds. SA cricket certainly needs it.
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