New Delhi : All six SA20 teams have roped in an exciting line-up of wild card picks for the maiden competition set to start from January 10, 2023. The six SA20 franchise teams were given the opportunity to sign a wild card player to add to their squads after the inaugural auction was completed.
Teams were allowed to sign a South African or an overseas player until December 31. There has been a heavy influence of acquiring cricketers with local knowledge of the conditions with four of-the teams opting for South Africa-based players.
MI Cape Town broke the trend by signing England superstar fast bowler Jofra Archer, with the 2019 ODI World Cup-winning hero set to debut in the tournament opener against Paarl Royals at Newlands, while Durban’s Super Giants have recruited Sri Lankan mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya.
The South African local talent is headlined by Proteas men’s all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, with the 26-year-old set to join his former national teammate JP Duminy’s side at Boland Park.
Phehlukwayo is an experienced international cricketer who has played four Test matches, 74 ODI’s and 38 T20Is for the Proteas. He is particularly adept with the ball where his skill set which includes a well-disguised slower ball is tailor-made for the conditions in Paarl.
The Johannesburg Super Kings have also opted for an experienced campaigner by bringing former Proteas international spinner Aaron Phangiso back to the Wanderers. Phangiso played 21 ODIs and 16 T20Is for the Proteas and remains one of the most economical spinners in the shortest format of the game with an economy of just 7.77.
There has been a heavy focus on the spin with Pretoria Capitals also adding left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy to their squad. Muthusamy, who is also a useful lower-order batter, played two Test matches for South Africa.
The Sunrisers Eastern Cape have, though, continued their investment in young talent with the acquisition of the talented Jordan Hermann. The 21-year-old has been in prolific form this season and is well-acquainted with the St George’s Park pitch.
SA20 will be in a direct clash with UAE’s ILT20, also scheduled to begin in January. Both leagues will be operating at the time when Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) will be on.
SA20 will be the third time South Africa would be attempting to launch a franchise T20 league in the country. In its previous attempts, the attempt to start Global League T20 failed to happen in 2017.
Its replacement, the Mzansi Super League was held in 2018 and 2019 but didn’t get the big broadcast rights, with the free-to-air South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) getting broadcast rights for a much smaller sum.
The league hasn’t been played since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will now make way for the SA20.