CSA eager to attract more fans

2014-04-10 00:00

A SURVEY done by Cricket South Africa last season on why attendance at domestic matches was waning, has seen a shuffle in the three major competitions for the 2014/15 season.

From the survey, it was clear fans wanted to see more international or Protea players in action for their franchises and bearing that in mind, CSA announced the format for the coming season yesterday.

With the ICC Cricket World Cup in February and March next year, the Momentum One-Day Cup (50 overs) starts in October, but unlike this past season where the competition was done and dusted in one swoop, the final rounds of next season’s league matches and the knock-out games will be in January and February.

This allows national players the opportunity to play competitive 50-over cricket, which will be vital time in the middle ahead of the World Cup in Australasia.

Normally starting in January, the Ram Slam T20 bash will start in November/December, again providing opportunities for national players not involved in the Test series against the visiting West Indians to appear for their franchises.

Last season’s T20 started with a festival of cricket at Newlands where a triple-header saw all six franchises play on the day. This was a resounding success and CSA has looked further into the concept, announcing that the opening round next season will again be a triple-header, this time at the Wanderers, on Sunday, November 2.

Two weeks later, on November 16, Kingsmead will host a triple-header and the penultimate round will be a third triple dose of action, this time at Bloemfontein, on Sunday, November 30.

CSA announced that this concept was great for fans and players and would be repeated on a rotational basis.

For Kingsmead, this is welcoming news following the Boxing Day Test against the West Indies being moved to Port Elizabeth. It is now in the hands of the weather gods to ensure the day is a success.

Four-day cricket starts proceedings at the end of September, where franchises not involved in the Champions League T20 in India will play.

This means the current domestic champions, the Dolphins and beaten finalists the Cobras, will make up matches at a later stage. The four-day series will wrap up the season after the limited overs competitions have been decided.

• In another boost for Kingsmead, a third T20 International match has been added to the West Indies tour at the end of this year.

Originally, only two T20 Internationals had been confirmed but CSA and the West Indies have agreed to roll into Kingsmead on January 14 for the third and final match of the series, starting at 6 pm.

CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat thanked the West Indies for adding a third T20 match to their schedule.

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