SA20 announces prize money of over USD 4 million for inaugural season
"It is a further indication of SA20's ambitions to positively impact South African cricket," league commissioner Graeme Smith says
The inaugural season of South Africa's SA20 league will carry a total prize purse of Rand 70 million (upwards of USD 4 million). That, as a CSA media statement said, is "the biggest prize pool in the history of South African franchise cricket".
Graeme Smith, the SA20 commissioner, said, "We have worked hard to offer a rewarding and unprecedented incentive in the first season of Betway SA20. This is a first for South African cricket, we have never had this type of competitive incentive in our domestic cricket and it is a further indication of SA20's ambitions to positively impact South African cricket."
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The tournament will run from January 10 - with MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals facing off at Newlands in Cape Town in the first game - to February 11, when the final will be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. A total of 33 matches - two round-robin leagues, two semi-finals, and the final - will be played in just over a month across South Africa.
The six teams in the fray are all owned by groups that own teams in the IPL: MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals share owners with Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals respectively, while the others are Johannesburg Super Kings (Chennai Super Kings), Pretoria Capitals (Delhi Capitals), Durban's Super Giants (Lucknow Super Giants) and Sunrisers Eastern Cape (Sunrisers Hyderabad).
Smith has in the past indicated that he hoped the SA20 would do for South African cricket what the IPL has done for Indian cricket in terms of unearthing a pool of players.
"I think what we want to create in this league is that there's so much talent - hope we can develop that talent to play under pressure on a global stage," he had said at an event in Mumbai earlier this month. "I know I keep talking about the IPL but you look at the amount of strong cricketers that have come through in the IPL.
"Looking at trying to find 15 players, hopefully there's 25-35 players in the next couple of years at a level where it makes the selectors jobs very, very difficult. Those that are used to playing big games, exposed to big games. Unfortunately South Africa has to deal with these questions all the time until they actually win a [global] tournament."