Cricket South Africa (CSA) have today confirmed that both the Limpopo Impalas and the Mpumalanga Rhinos were awarded First Class status effective immediately, which includes all their matches already played from the start of the 2022 / 23 season.
Following a two-year trial period where both teams displayed the required level of professionalism and performance, CSA have issued a memorandum advising all its members that the two sides’ matches will now be recorded as such in the ICC Classification of Official Cricket.
The Impalas and the Rhinos currently form part of Division Two of the men’s domestic cricket structure, competing in the red ball Four-Day Series as well as One-Day and T20 competitions, which will now all be categorized as First-Class, List A and T20 cricket.
CSA Chief Executive, Pholetsi Moseki congratulated the two teams on their classification.
“This is a significant moment for everyone connected with Limpopo and Mpumalanga cricket. All the hard work the two unions have put in over the years has proved fruitful as now all the players and coaches involved will get their well-earned recognition.
“First Class status is an integral part of building a competitive and attractive cricket team and organisation, particularly when operating under the exciting and dynamic domestic system that includes the allure of promotion to Division One.
“On behalf of CSA, I would like to congratulate the Limpopo Impalas and the Mpumalanga Rhinos for this important achievement and all the very best for the remainder of the season,” he added.
CSA Cricket Pathways Manager, Eddie Khoza commented:
“The highest of commendations for the Impalas and the Rhinos, this is testament to the meticulous efforts to upgrade the overall standard and development of the game in the two regions in order to arrive to this point.
“Limpopo and Mpumalanga are provinces that have a rich history of being the birthplace of leading South African talent and although those talents went onto represent other teams around the country, the breeding ground has remained arable and I look forward to a bright future.”