Cape Town - The 2015/16 Sunfoil Series champions will pocket a record R2 million in prize money, a 100% increase from the 2014/15 season.
This was one of the major announcements made at the Sunfoil Season launch in Durban on Monday.
“With first-class four-day cricket being the premier domestic competition, we are pleased to announce another increase in prize money for our Sunfoil Series,” said CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
“We’ve seen over the years how the Sunfoil Series has provided the perfect foundation for up and coming players to develop and showcase their talent before moving into the Test arena.
“I must once again thank the Willowton Group for being such a superb partner in supporting cricket from grassroots to professional level,” added Lorgat.
The Willowton Group’s involvement as a CSA Commercial Partner does not extend purely to the Sunfoil Series. Sunfoil are also the event sponsors for Test Cricket, the Three-Day Sunfoil Cup Senior Provincial Cricket Competition and through the Sunfoil Education Trust (SET) ensures that 15 children receive bursaries to further their school and cricket careers.
Through the Sunfoil brand, Willowton Group and Cricket South Africa have been empowering the South African youth through sport. The children are identified through the Sunfoil Education Trust (SET) programmes, which give youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to experience cricket through a year-round coaching programme.
Shoaib Moosa, Willowton Group Chief Commercial Officer, said: “It has been an amazing journey since our initial cricket development sponsorship in 2007. Our aim is to make a meaningful and sustainable difference for others to follow. We are proud to be the event sponsor for both four-day domestic and home international Test Series. We wish the Proteas success during the upcoming Test Series against England.”
The company’s SET provides bursaries for promising youth coming through development cricket programmes. The Fund donates R1 000 for every four, R2 000 for every six and R2 500 for every wicket taken during the home Sunfoil Test match series.
Proteas captain, Hashim Amla, also attended the launch. While he is enjoying some time off from the game, he is also looking ahead to the Sunfoil Test Series against England.
“The upcoming Test series against England is without a doubt the marquee event of the season for the Proteas,” Amla said.
“We’ve had some time to reflect and regroup after the challenging tour of India and are geared up for what promises to be an entertaining summer of cricket at home.
“Test cricket is the pinnacle format of international cricket, every cricketer strives to play at this level,” he added.
“It’s really encouraging to see Sunfoil putting in the resources towards first-class cricket and development in South Africa, this support will assist in growing the game and in producing top-quality players who can go on to represent the Proteas.”
The first round of Sunfoil Series matches commences on December 17, 2015, while the Test series against England commences with the Boxing Day Test on December 26 at Kingsmead.