Photo Credit: SA20 League
Betway SA20 commissioner Graeme Smith is hoping Season 2 will once again “capture the imagination of all South Africans.”
South Africa’s most popular T20 League proved to be an instant success in its maiden season with fans flocking to all six city-based stadiums around the country to enjoy high-quality cricket and off-field entertainment last summer.
Speaking at the Season 2 fixtures launch at a plush Bryanston roof-top venue, Smith said he could feel the excitement building ahead of the 10 January 2024 start.
“I am very excited. A lot of time and effort has gone into reviewing and finishing up Season 1, but this is now our first live event for Season 2,” said Smith.
“Getting our fixtures out nice and early this year! We had a bit more time, and we are happy with the improvement to the fixtures. There are a number of big clashes, week-day 5:30pm starts, and no doubleheaders in the week.”
“Only on Saturdays will we have double headers and a nice afternoon time start on a Sunday. Home and away (matches) and really nicely balanced storylines.”
Smith believes that having all six venues available throughout the month-long tournament and having no mid-tournament break will only amplify the experience next season.
“Last year we lost the coastal venues due to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup which impacted scheduling. There is also no break in fixtures this year, so from January 10 until the Final, we want to own every (weekly) evening and every Saturday afternoon and evening, and Sunday afternoon until February 10 and we are hoping to capture the imagination of all South Africans.”
Smith was equally excited to kickstart Season 2 in Gqeberha where the champions Sunrisers Eastern Cape face off against the Joburg Super Kings at St George’s Park.
Season 2 will also see a change to the playoff structure with an extra match added, which Smith believes could make the league stage of the competition even more competitive.
“We have added an extra knockout game, which provides more incentive to finish top of the log at No 1 and 2 because 1 and 2 play each other in the first knockout game, and whoever wins goes straight through to the final and whoever is No 2 gets another bite at the cherry.”
“It’s nice to have that system in place. Season 1 we just didn’t have the time and I believe it will add another element to the competition.”