Former Proteas all-rounder Roelof van Merwe fired the Sunrisers Eastern Cape to an inaugural Betway SA20 championship on Sunday.

The Gqeberha-based side cruised to a four-wicket victory against Pretoria Capitals at a sold-out Wanderers cricket stadium in Johannesburg.

Van Merwe delivered an excellent spell with the left-arm spinner picking up 4/31. The 38-year-old was voted Bowler of the Season.

“I love coming back here and playing, I played in 2019 during the Mzansi tournament,” he told journalists after the match.

“I just love playing in South Africa and I am glad I could contribute this year in winning a trophy. Obviously, that’s why we play the game is to win trophies. Even at my age is still have a bit left in the tank so I am glad it came to good use,” he said.

Van Merwe is a former Proteas player who has since switched and plays for the Netherlands.

MARKRAM LAUDS SUNRISERS EASTERN CAPE PLAYERS ATITUDE

Meanwhile captain of the Sunrisers has credited the hunger top win by the whole team for their success. The Proteas batter was also voted the Player of the Season.

Sunrisers Eastern Cape crowned inaugural Betway SA20 champions.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape crowned inaugural Betway SA20 champions.

“Firstly, I am very proud because we had a bit of slow start to the competition but sort of bounced back the way we did was great,” he said.

“There are strong characters and a lot of guys that are desperate to win games of cricket and that’s probably the most important ingredients. Not taking it away from the skills of the players and they delivered when needed, the attitude and all those kinds of things.”

FULL LIST OF BETWAY SA20 AWARD WINNERS:

Runners-up: Pretoria Capitals

Spirit of the Season: Sunrisers Eastern Cape 

Rising Star: Eathan Bosch (Pretoria Capitals)

Batter of the Season: Jos Buttler (Paarl Royals)

Bowler of the Season: Roelof van der Merwe (Sunrisers Eastern Cape)

Player of the Season: Aiden Markram (Sunrisers Eastern Cape)

ALSO READ: Faf du Plessis lights up Betway SA20

Joburg Super Kings captain Faf du Plessis struck the maiden century of the Betway SA20 to enter into the record books of the competition.

du Plessis’ innings lasted for only 58 balls with 113 electrifying runs including eight boundaries and eight sixes. He tore into Durban’s Super Kings bowling attack. 

FAF DU PLESSIS SHINES FOR KINGS

The former South Africa cricket captain had Reeza Hendricks as company for the majority of the innings. The opening pair put on 157 for the first wicket. But Hendricks was the supporting act of the partnership with 45 off 46 balls. 

The pair helped the Super Kings to chase down the Super Giants’ 178/6. Du Plessis struck the winning runs with five balls to spare.  

The eight-wicket victory reignited the Super Kings Betway SA20 campaign. They have now leapfrogged MI Cape Town into fourth position.

Faf du Plessis celebrate
Faf du Plessis celebrate

But the Super Giants now have a slim chance of qualifying for the playoffs as they remain at the foot of the table. 

There was hope when Heinrich Klaasen’s 65 off 48 balls and a pair of 28’s from West Indian duo Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder at the top and bottom end of the innings.  Maheesh Theekshana (3/30) and Gerald Coetzee (3/21) ensured the Super Giants did not run away entirely. 

However, the thousands that streamed into the Wanderers once again would remember this special evening as the night Du Plessis struck the first century of the Betway SA20. 

BETWAY SA20 UPCOMING FIXTURES

02 February 

Durban’s Super Giants vs MI Cape Town

Kingsmead

17h30  

Betway has announced that the ‘Betway Catch a Million’ prize money has officially been doubled to a staggering R2 Million. With the Betway SA20 now in full swing, the title sponsors of the League are excited to be raising the stakes even higher for fans inside the stadiums watching the thrilling action.  

The announcement sees the campaign being re-branded to Betway Catch R2 Million and guarantees fans over the age of 18 a unique opportunity to win a share of R2 000 000.00 should they make a clean one-handed catch off a six in any of the ongoing Betway SA20 matches. 

Not only has the brand increased the prize money for the lucky winners, but by virtue of being a Betway customer, Betway account holders will have their winnings doubled should they take a clean one-handed catch.

HISTORIC BETWAY SA20 COMPETITION

Betway SA20 has assembled some of the world’s best batters to partake in the league. Thus significantly increasing the chances of fans in the stands at the life-changing catch. 

Betway Head of Marketing, Mark Rowles said the announcement falls in line with what the brand is passionate about. That is using the power of sport to bring excitement and a positive change. 

“The Betway SA20 is an exciting competition that allows us to engage with our customers in a unique, exciting way. We are absolutely thrilled with how the tournament has gone so far and with us doubling the prize money. We hope to see even more fans making their way to the stadiums and being a part of the excitement,” said Rowles. 

BETWAY CATCH COMPETITION RULES

The catch must be clean and not have touched anything more than the palm of the spectator. The person who catches the ball. This means that the ball cannot come off a hat, umbrella, another hand, shoulder chest. Or be juggled either between hands or on one hand.  

The sleeping giant of South African cricket, Kingsmead, awoke from its slumber in all its glory on the second night of the Betway SA20. 

The KwaZulu-Natal patrons came out in full support of Durban’s Super Giants and were treated to a feast of high-quality entertainment. 

Kingsmead has not witnessed such fanfare for many years with the fireworks adding to the spectacle produced out in the middle. 

BETWAY SA20 ACTION GET IN FULL SWING

Joburg Super Kings may have won a high-scoring contest by 16 runs, but it was the people of Durban that were the real winners.

They were in full voice early on when the home team reduced Joburg Super Kings to 27/4 with local hero Keshav Maharaj initiating the first breakthrough. 

Fellow homegrown product Prenelan Subrayen (2/26) and Sri Lankan spin maestro Akila Dananjaya (1/39) joined the party soon after. 

But it was from here onwards that the Super Kings regained a foothold in the contest with captain Faf du Plessis (39) holding it all together before Donavon Ferreira was unleashed. 

Player of the match, Ferreira, lived up to his pre-match billing with a blistering 82 off just 40 balls, and along with Romario Shepherd (40 off 19 balls) powered the Super Kings to 190/6 as the Super Giants lost their way at the backend. 

Quinton de Kock at Betway SA20
Quinton de Kock at Betway SA20

KINGSMEAD CROWD NEVER DISSAPOINT

The Kingsmead crowd never lost its voice at all though and were back on their feet supporting their team when Quinton de Kock and West Indian Kyle Mayers raced out of the blocks.

The Super Giants opening pair dominated the Powerplay and took it all the way to the 11th over before Mayers was dismissed for 39 leaving the home team on 98/1. 

De Kock was central to the Super Giants getting close, but he did not receive sufficient support from Heinrich Klaasen (20), Wiaan Mulder (10), Dwaine Pretorius (14) and Jason Holder (2 not out).

The skipper eventually fell for 78 and walked back to the dressing room with the Super Giants’ chances unfortunately as they ultimately fell agonizingly short on a memorable night at Kingsmead. 

Dewald Brevis stole the show as MI Cape Town comfortably eased past Paarl Royals by eight wickets in the Betway SA20 opener at a sold out Newlands on Tuesday night.

The Newlands crowd were in high spirits before the toss after being entertained by a spectacular show from Sho Madjozi and Master KG.

The entertainment continued once the game started as the home side drew first blood when MI Cape Town’s Jofra Archer dismissed Wihan Lubbe with the help of a brilliant diving catch from George Linde.

The Boland side settled down after the initial setback through English duo Jos Buttler and Jason Roy as the pair put on 36 runs for the second wicket before Roy (13) was dismissed by Duan Jansen.

Buttler, though, continued to keep the Royals’ innings ticking over as he produced a sparkling half-century before being dismissed for 51(42), while captain David Miller knocked 42 off 31 balls as the Royals closed on 142/7.

Archer was the standout MI Cape Town bowler with figures of 3/27, while Olly Stone claimed 2/37.

DEWALD BREVIS SHINES DURING BETWAY SA 20 OPENER

MI Cape Town opening batters Brevis and Ryan Rickelton did not waste time in the run chase as they hit the ground running immediately.

The pair reached the end of the Powerplay in a comfortable position with MI Cape Town moving to 88/0.

However, the Royals managed the breakthrough they were looking for after breaking the 90-run partnership as Rickelton departed for 42 (33 balls).

It was a mere blip for the Royals as Brevis entertained the Newlands faithful with sweet strikes down the ground as he finished unbeaten on 70 off just 41 balls (4×4, 6×5) as MI Cape Town opened their Betway SA20 account in emphatic fashion.

Betway SA20 has confirmed exciting additions to its playing format for the inaugural season starting on 10 January.

The six teams will play 33 matches in total. This includes three playoff matches that consist of two semi-finals and the final.

The additions have also been included to improve the quality of the product while preserving the sanctity of the game. 

In an innovative move to level the Cricket playing field, each captain can nominate 13 players to take the field before the toss. After the toss, each captain can select their final starting XI. The remainder of the players will automatically become substitute players.

Teams will also be encouraged to put in dominant performances, with the winning team awarded four points and a bonus-point win generating five points. The bonus point will be awarded to a team who achieves a run rate of 1.25 times that of the opposition. In case of a no result, both teams will be awarded two points, while the losing team will not receive any points. 

ADJUSTED BETWAY SA20 RULES

The pace of play will be protected without suspensions with captains charged with in-game penalties for slow over-rates through fielding restrictions. 

There has been an amendment to the free-hit rule, a bowled dismissal can’t lead to byes if the ball ricochets off the stumps.

Positive and attacking fielding will be encouraged. No runs can be taken off an intentional attempt to run out the batter if a direct hit deflects off the stumps. 

Betway SA20 Director Graeme Smith
Betway SA20 Director Graeme Smith

There will be two strategic time-outs of 2 minutes 30 seconds in duration in each innings. The time-outs are to allow the teams to re-group tactically. 

Six Powerplay overs will also be implemented where only two fielders will be allowed outside the 30-yard circle. 

EQUAL POINTS SCENARIO

In the event of teams finishing on equal points, the right to progress through to the final. Play-off teams determination:

  1. The team with the most number of wins;

2. If still equal, the team with the highest number of bonus points;

3. If still equal, the team with the highest net run rate;

4. If still equal, the team with the most number of wins over the other team(s) who are equal on points and have the same number of wins;

5. If still equal, the team with the highest runs to wickets ratio throughout the tournament;

6. If still equal, the team with the highest wickets to runs ratio throughout the tournament.

In a match declared as a No Result, run rate is not applicable.

The first semi-final will include the team finishing top of the group stages against the team finishing fourth. The second semi-final will be between the teams finishing second and third respectively. The winners of the two semi-finals will contest the final.

Leading global technology company, FanCraze, has been announced as the Betway SA20 official digital collectibles partner. The unprecedented multi-year partnership that will take the League into the Metaverse.

The collaboration makes SA20 the first cricket league to launch digital collectibles in their inaugural season.

SA20 and FanCraze will launch official digital player cards from next week, giving fans an opportunity to collect their favourite players, play games, trade with other fans and unlock unique experiences.

Betway SA20 League Commissioner, Graeme Smith said: “We are an innovative and digitally-led League. So it makes sense for us to partner with a brand on the forefront of technology.”

Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith

NEW BETWAY SA20 PARTNERS 


The partnership will see the League pioneering into FanCraze’s extensive digital collectibles world, which features a portfolio of more than 50 000 players. Current franchise players in the League will also be benefitting from the association and revenue streams. Starting next week fans will be able to purchase official League  collectibles on www.fancraze.com.

South African Cricketers Association (SACA) CEO, Andrew Breetzke has hailed the landmark deal. “SACA has had extensive engagement with Betway SA20 on the introduction of a number of exciting commercial initiatives – all of which will benefit the league and the players. This partnership between SA20 and FanCraze will further enhance the reputation of the SA20 as a leading League in the world and open up additional revenue streams for players.”

SA20 joins the International Cricket Council (ICC), Cricket West Indies, Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and a number of teams, leagues and cricket stars in the impressive stable of the fast-growing multi-million dollar company.

FANCRAZE THRILLED BY PARTNERSHIP 


Anshum Bhambri, CEO, FanCraze said: “FanCraze is thrilled to partner with the inaugural SA20. With the launch of SA20 Player Cards and an innovative gaming experience for fans, FanCraze continues to solidify our position as the market leader in cricket digital collectibles.

We cannot wait to unlock even more categories of collectibles, games, and multi-modal digital experiences as we evangelise the Web
3.0 space for cricket audiences around the world.”

The first match of the League will feature MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals at Newlands on 10 January.

Former Proteas captain, AB de Villiers, is looking forward to his commentary debut during the Betway SA20 starting in January.

AB de Villiers headlines a stellar team of SuperSport commentators for the exciting action of South Africa’s anticipated new league. 

De Villiers will bring all the flair and innovation learned over the years to the commentary booth. 

AB DE VILLIERS CAN’T WAIT FOR DEBUT

“I am a cricket fan at heart,” alludes de Villiers. I can’t wait to be behind the mic to watch the brilliant performances from the world’s best cricketers. A lso looking forward to joining some of my past teammates and cricketing legends for this exciting opportunity,” he said.

The commentary team has reunited the legendary Proteas slip cordon. De Villiers is joined by his former national team teammates Mark Boucher, Ashwell Prince, Shaun Pollock, Herschelle Gibbs, Chris Morris and Vernon Philander.

 

Ex Proteas batsman AB de Villiers
Ex Proteas batsman AB de Villiers

Mark Nicholas will also hold it all together with former England internationals Kevin Pietersen and Darren Gough also joining the team

There is further international flavour included in the line-up with the hugely-popular Zainab Abbas from Pakistan. He teams up South Africa’s first lady of cricket Kass Naidoo. Also joining is Urooj Mumtaz, Pommie Mbangwa, Mike Haysman, and former West Indies T20 World Cup-winning captain Daren Sammy. 

NEW TECHNOLOGY ON BOARD

SuperSport will also be introducing new-look technology and innovations to create the ultimate viewing experience of the SA20 coverage.

All 33 matches will also be live on SuperSport in Sub-Saharan Africa, Viacom18 in India and Sky Sports in the UK. 

SA-born Kevin Pietersen is looking forward to returning home for the inaugural competition. 

“It is exciting to be part of the SuperSport team for the SA20 league.”

“Especially as Someone who was born in KZN and also someone who played cricket in Durban in the early part of my career. I’m very proud to be part of the inaugural SA20 league and love the country. I am also really looking forward to contributing towards this event with a special team.” 

FULL BETWAY SA20 COMMENTATORS/PRESENTERS LIST:

 Mark Nicholas, Kevin Pietersen, Darren Gough (all England), Zainab Abbas, Urooj Mumtaz (both Pakistan), Chris Morris, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Herschelle Gibbs, Vernon Philander, Kass Naidoo, Shaun Pollock, Mark Boucher (all South Africa), Pommie Mbangwa (Zimbabwe), Daren Sammy (West Indies), Mike Haysman (Australia). 

Betting company Betway SA20 and Europe’s leading media Sky Sports today announced a new five-year rights deal. The deal will see South Africa’s premier T20 cricket league added to their cricket portfolio. 

The SA20 has joined Sky Sports as a new leading event on the world T20 cricket schedule. Enabling access for both current, new and a younger generation of cricket fans to watch some of the greatest players perform on the global stage.

“We’re delighted to extend the coverage of Betway SA20 to Sky Sports’ extensive fan base. This is a landmark deal which will grow our global footprint ahead of our launch on 10 January,” said Betway SA20 League Commissioner, Graeme Smith.

Thirty-three matches, six global franchises will be broadcasted across Sky Sports Cricket channels for four weeks for the first time. It will showcase the live action from 102 world class players including some of England’s World Cup-winning squad. This include captain Jos Buttler, and the now most expensive IPL player Sam Curran.

BETWAY SA20 THRILLES SKY SPORTS

“We are thrilled to add the SA20 to our portfolio of cricket rights.” Bryan Henderson, Director of Cricket at Sky Sports said.

We believe it will be a terrific competition involving some of the best English players involved,” said Henderson.

Betway SA20 and Sky Sports announce new rights deal
Betway SA20 and Sky Sports announce new rights deal

The League features six privately-owned teams, who will play each other twice in a round-robin stage. Then the semis and final, live on Sky Sports. Betway SA20 has the backing of some of the most recognised T20 franchises in the world, with several IPL strongholds branching out to establish an even greater international footprint.

The maiden competition set to start on 10 January 2023.

Sky Sports will also broadcast the 3 England Men’s ODI’s. It will take place in South Africa on the 27th and 29th of January, and 1st February.

Proteas legend, AB de Villiers, believes the Betway SA20 comes at the perfect time for South African cricket.

The inaugural League, featuring six newly-constructed teams, will launch on Tuesday, 10 January at Newlands with the opening local derby between MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals setting up an explosive start to South African cricket’s new-kid-on-the-block.

De Villiers, who has played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception in 2008, says the SA20 is just the boost the game requires in South Africa.

AB DE VILLIERS GIVES BETWAY SA20 THUMBS UP

“I think the Betway SA20 comes at a really good time for South African cricket. We have seen the amazing things that these leagues have done to cricket in particular nations,” De Villiers said.

“To give our youngsters this base and the foundation to get exposure at the highest level against the best players in the world is what it’s all about.”

Among the youngsters that De Villiers will be keeping a close eye on is MI Cape Town’s young batting sensation, Dewald Brevis.

The 19-year-old has been a revelation since bursting on the scene during the ICC Men’s Under-19 World Cup earlier this year when he shattered Shikhar Dhawan’s tournament record for the most runs.

He has since carried this form into the IPL, Caribbean Premier League and most notably in Cricket SA’s T20 Challenge competition when he blasted 162 off just 57 balls.

De Villiers believes Brevis’ development will be greatly aided by playing alongside England’s T20 World Cup winners such as Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone in the same way he learnt from grizzled veterans such as Australian superstar Glenn McGrath when he first joined the IPL in 2008.

“It was a huge occasion for me and a lot of the other players. The start of the IPL changed our lives. The people are really passionate about cricket. Not only with the home team but they support members in other teams as well,” De Villiers said.

“The biggest thing that stands out for me are the people that I met. I think of Glenn McGrath and the time I spent with him. He was this hard guy and all of a sudden I am sitting with him in the changeroom and having a beer with him.”

PAYS HOMAGE TO GRAEME SMITH

De Villiers was also full of praise for his former national team captain Graeme Smith, who in his role as Betway SA20 League commissioner, has ensured South Africa will also now have a T20 league to rival the best in the world

“Graeme and I have come a long way together, and to have him right at the top of SA cricket right now, making a lot of good calls, and changing things,” he said.

“The Betway SA20 … I don’t think it would have been possible if it weren’t for him and all his connections and experience. I think we all owe Graeme a real thank you for bringing this big tournament to SA.”