It’s fitting that the 2022–23 domestic season, which is expected to be dominated by T20 cricket, begins with that specific format, with Cricket South Africa doing all in its power to promote the T20 Challenge.
The eight Division One teams will be at Potchefstroom for the next three weeks. With tickets beginning at R1, CSA is expecting to draw in the local student population to the North West Oval’s grass embankments over the coming weeks.
The tournament will also be televised on DStv’s various package plans, and matches will also be shown on local channels and streamed on mobile applications in England, India, and Australia.
Many spectators will be interested in the T20 Challenge because they may evaluate some of the unexpected decisions made at the recent SA20 auction, despite the fact that the Proteas are away at the T20 World Cup.
Of course, the next three weeks provide the opportunity for those players who were left out to make their case, and who knows—if there are injuries, maybe a late call up for the SA20.
The addition of all-rounders Wiaan Mulder and newly acquired Evan Jones has strengthened the Lions, who had a poor tournament at St George’s Park last season.
These two were among the unexpected selections at the SA20 auction, with Mulder going to the Durban Super Giants for R1.9 million and Jones, who made a strong impression for Northern Cape in the T20 Knockout competition that began last season and was subsequently signed by the Lions, playing for the Paarl Royals after being purchased for R1.7 million.
The failure of Gqeberha last season, according to Lions coach Wandile Gwavu, gave him much to think about over the off-season, with the need for additional firepower at the forefront of some of the union’s winter additions. “We had some strong players, but were those guys ready to play that format in the two T20 championships last year,” Gwavu questioned.
“I’m delighted about what we’ve added in terms of the shorter forms – having Wiaan Mulder accessible is huge,” Cameron Delport said.
Two of the top ten most expensive signings for the SA20, including Sisanda Magala of the Lions, will be playing in Potchefstroom.
The 31-year-old knows that his performance will be under more scrutiny in the coming weeks after signing with Sunrisers Eastern Cape for R5.4 million.
You are aware that the spotlight will be there, Magala stated. “There will be people watching you, you have to do well, and if you don’t, there will be this and that. But you have to accept the good with the bad because it’s part of the game.
The other pricey acquisition is Donovan Ferreira, who made R5.5 million by completing innings for the Northerns Titans while on leave from work for the T20 Knockout and joining the Joburg Super Kings.
The North West quartet of Duan Jansen, Caleb Saleka, and Delano Potgieter, as well as the Lions’ Mitchell van Buuren and Codi Yusuf, are some of the younger players to keep an eye on that participated in the auction.
In fact, Monday’s game between North West and the Lions is shaping up to be a delectable affair with so many SA20 purchases on display.
Titans vs. Dolphins will be the opening match of the tournament.