Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 20 (ANI): Former South African skipper Graeme Smith said that the goal of SA20 is to help the country witness growth in the crop of young players and have 20-30 players ready to compete at top level.
He further hoped that SA20 league rapidly grows on the lines of Indian premier league (IPL)Graeme while speaking to ANI talked about the SA20 league, the domestic franchise-based T20 league of South Africa. The second season of the league is 50 days away, set to start from January 10 onwards and will go on till February 10, 2024.
"Obviously very excited (about the new season of SA20). The season one was a success in such a short space of time. Seeing the incredible cricket with both local and international cricket stars. The contest of the six franchises was terrific. To see cricket in South Africa and the fans come back. The grounds and the players inside the stadium were terrific to see again after a few years in South African cricket because to get that going was really exciting. The goal for season 2 is to get bigger and even better. It is a global contest and the biggest league after India (Indian Premier League)," said Smith, who is also the commissioner of SA20 to ANI.
Smith said that the goal is to grow a crop of young South African players through the league, just like Team India grew theirs through the IPL.
"The goal is in about two or three years of time we see a crop of young South African players like we have seen the success in IPL and the quality of players in the Indian team, growing the base of the players is our goal in maybe three to four years. The real crop of white ball cricketers in both T20s and ODIs. To have 20 to 30 players across the board to compete. Last year a lot of youngsters spoke about playing infront of big crowds and the pressure to deal with quality of people, the franchise and the players and quality to come through," he added.
A total of six teams will participate in SA20, namely Durban Super Giants, Joburg Super Kings, MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals, Sunrisers Eastern Cape and Pretoria Capitals. Sunrisers Eastern Cape won the inaugural season, beating Pretoria Capitals in finals back in February this year. (ANI)