Following the miscarriage of the T20 Global League in 2017, which failed to attract sponsorships and a broadcast partner, many detractors had much to say when a new franchise cricket tournament was conceived.
With all the shenanigans and administrative bungles that led to Cricket SA (CSA) losing the trust of both the public and the corporate world, many gave the SA20 a no-ball, saying it would never take off.
Led by CEO Pholetsi Moseki, the board finishes its second year in office in June. The board and the executive team appear to be in control of the direction of the tournament.
Seventeen games in and everyone is raving about the SA20, which started with a sold-out affair at Newlands in Cape Town.
Since the beginning of the tournament, stadiums have been packed and the cricket itself has been outstanding.
In fact, it has been reported that tickets for the final, set for Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, are already sold out, long before the finalists have even been determined.
It looks like cricketers want to prove a point and want to be part of the tournament’s success. For a maiden event, this is a huge achievement for the CSA, which seems to be stabilising.
But they should not rest on their laurels. A lot of work still needs to be done to take the SA20 to the same as the Indian Premier League, which is head and shoulders above any other T20 league in the world.
Following the Proteas’ below-par performances recently, the country also needed something to cheer us up, and the SA20’s thrills and spills served as a timely reminder of what good sport can do to for morale.