With the conclusion of the 2024 SA20, competition commissioner Graeme Smith has praised the second season, praising it for being nothing short of thrilling, entertaining, and packed with action across the nation.
In the season finale at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday, the Sunrisers Eastern Cape successfully defended their title with an impressive 89-run victory over the Super Giants of Durban.
Thanks to half-centuries from Tom Abell (55) and Tristan Stubbs (56 not out), the Sunrisers put on a show when they scored 204/3. Jordan Hermann and captain Aiden Markram also scored 42 runs apiece after joining the fray.
Before Friday’s championship match, Smith participated in a Q&A session with Sunday World and declared the event a success from all angles, including the sponsors, ambassadors, organisers, and raucous cricket fans.
Another incredible showcase
“The second season has been another incredible showcase of the Betway SA20,” Smith said.
“We have seen the fans coming out in their numbers across all the league and playoff matches – our final was sold out weeks in advance, which further highlighted the affinity that is growing towards the competition and the teams across the country.
“Our viewership numbers on SuperSport are up significantly, showing that the interest that we had in season one has snowballed this season.
“The cricket on show has been fantastic, the local and international players have lit up the stage; fans have been treated to some spectacular performances from the likes of Heinrich Klaasen, Ryan Rickelton and Jos Buttler with the bat, and Ottniel Baartman, Reece Topley, and Marco Jansen with the ball.”
Fans stand to gain
Moreover, SA20 contributed a sizeable R2-million through its title sponsor Betway to be distributed among spectators who make a flawless one-handed catch during the game.
Over four weeks of roaring entertainment, a total of eight one-handed catches were taken.
A former captain of the Proteas, Smith said the league will reach new heights with his former teammate, AB de Villiers, serving as one of the ambassadors.
“AB’s exceptional cricketing talent and magnetic personality make him the perfect fit for our league,” Smith said.
“His involvement will undoubtedly elevate the league’s status, both on and off the field. AB’s passion for the game and his ability to connect with fans align perfectly with our vision for the league.
“We believe his presence will not only inspire players but also engage cricket fans across the globe, helping us achieve unprecedented success.”