Photo Credit: SA20 League
New player regulations will see six Rookie players picked in inaugural draft
Wednesday, 20 September 2023: A career-defining opportunity awaits six South African Rookie players who will be picked in the upcoming Betway SA20 Rookie draft. The Rookie draft is a new addition to the season 2 playing regulations, and is the League’s initiative to expose more young talent to a global stage and to some of the world’s best coaches and players.
A total of 80 up-and-coming players have entered the draft, including recent South Africa U19 captains Bryce Parsons, George van Heerden and Juan James. There is also a host of players with domestic first-class experience including Jonathan Bird, Ruan Terblanche, Meeka-eel Prince, Liyema Waqu and Tiaan van Vuuren.
Betway SA20 Head of Cricket Operations, Stephen Cook, says this opportunity will be invaluable for the players: “One of the major drivers of success for the first season of Betway SA20 was the quality of young South African talent who excelled on the global stage. We had rising stars such as Gerald Coetzee, Jordan Hermann and Dewald Brevis grabbing their opportunities during the competition. We want to expose six young players to SA20 and to give them an opportunity to grow and learn in this environment.”
With little data available on the Rookies besides mainly their youth statistics, all six teams will no doubt be keeping a close eye on the SA Emerging XI currently competing in the Cricket South Africa Division 2 Provincial One-Day Challenge.
The SA Emerging XI consists of seven potential Betway SA20 Rookies, namely Ronan Hermann, Lhuan-dre Pretorius, Andile Simelane, Abdallah Bayoumy, Liyema Waqu, Richard Seletswane, and Ethan Cunningham.
With only a week to go until the auction, the Rookies will have two further opportunities to impress ahead of the auction when they face the Mpumalanga Rhinos at Tuks Oval in Pretoria on Friday before the match against Eastern Storm at Willowmoore Park in Benoni next Monday.
Rookie Draft Explained
A Rookie is a South African player aged 22 or under on the day of the auction that has not been contracted to SA20 before. All six teams are mandated to select a player from the Rookie draft.
A player meeting the definition of a Rookie can be bought in the regular auction stage, but if not chosen in the regular auction, will then be eligible for the Rookie draft which will take place at the end of the regular auction.
Each team will have two minutes to make their choice and will be ‘on the clock’ to stick within the parameters.
Each Rookie player has a set value of R75 000, which will be deducted from the team’s available salary cap prior to the auction to make sure there is absolute clarity at all stages of the Player Auction as to how much purse is remaining and ensure that the Rookie Fee is sufficiently catered for by each Franchise. The standard regulations pertaining to squad composition, salary cap and base prices will apply.
Should a Franchise already have a player in the squad that meets the definition of a Rookie player, this player will not count as the Rookie player as far as this provision is concerned. Each Franchise must take a Rookie player in the draft portion of proceedings.
The order of selection will be as follows (reverse order of final positions from Season 1):
1. MI Cape Town (log position 6)
2. Durban’s Super Giants (log position 5)
3. Paarl Royals (Losing semi-finalists – lower log position)
4. Joburg Super Kings (Losing semi-finalists – higher log position)
5. Pretoria Capitals (Runners up)
6. Sunrisers Eastern Cape (Champions)
The Betway SA20 auction and Rookie draft will take place in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 27 September. It will be live on SuperSport from 16h00 (SAST) with rolling coverage on all SA20 social media platforms.