Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Cricket’s latest T20 series offers all the flash that can be expected

Organisers seem to be doing everything they can to try and ensure both fans and investors get their money's worth.

While questions will continue to be raised about whether the new SA20 league can emerge as a success at the end of its first season, in terms of trying to garner support in advance, the approach of the organisers can be wrapped into a single word: appropriate.

Nearly two months before the first ball is bowled, the inaugural campaign has already been launched, teams have been unveiled, players have been bought and the schedule has been released.

Maintaining the hype in the build-up, organisers held another launch at the Wanderers yesterday to announce ticket sales, again showcasing some of the country’s top players who will turn out in the big-spending series.

And by way of what can be expected, this latest launch – complete with an electric atmosphere and live entertainment – reverberated in being entirely adequate.

That’s not to say it was dull. Quite the opposite. Organisers seem to be doing everything they can to try and ensure both fans and investors get their money’s worth.

Expected fanfare

Backed by owners of Indian Premier League teams, it has all the pomp and fanfare one would expect from the latest flashy campaign in the sport’s most exciting format.

In addition, the coaches of the team are world renowned, the players are among the best the game has to offer, and if yesterday’s latest attempt to attract interest was anything to go by, it’s going to have all the electricity associated with a T20 tournament.

Of course, organisers will have to stay on their toes if they’re going to maintain the buy-in they need from stakeholders and fans.

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League commissioner Graeme Smith offered an appropriate response yesterday, however, to any potential concerns about the series, insisting they were confident they could pull it off.

“We really want to inject new energy into the sport and attract new South African cricket fans,” Smith said.

“We also want to see the players performing at their best for years to come and we believe this series will be a real asset to the game.”

Tickets are available between R50 and R200 for all 33 matches of the SA20 series, which gets underway on 10 January.

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SA20 Twenty20 (T20)

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