The second edition of South Africa’s university T20 cricket tournament, Varsity Cricket, kicks off on Monday 25 January, 2016. Potchefstroom will once again play host to the thrilling six-day tournament, where South Africa’s top universities will compete for the ultimate title in university cricket.
The winners will go on to represent South Africa at the 2016 Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals in Sri-Lanka. University of Pretoria (UP-Tuks), who won the inaugural Red Bull Campus Cricket World Championships in 2014, successfully defended their title in India last year and will look to make it a hat-trick in 2016.
“We’re looking forward to witnessing some of South Africa’s most talented cricketers take to the Potchefstroom stage,” says Jana Arlow, Varsity Sports code manager for Cricket. “The opportunity for these young players to showcase and develop their talent wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of sponsors such as Samsung, Steers, Edgars Active and FNB.”
“Samsung is once again proud to sponsor this tournament as it enhances the talents and capabilities of South Africa’s youth. Physical activity is vital to the holistic development of young people, fostering their physical, social and emotional health. The benefits of sport reach beyond the impact of physical well-being and the value of the educational benefits of sport should not be under-estimated,” says Justin Hume, Marketing Director, Samsung Electronics South Africa.
The eight teams battling it out for top honours in Potchefstroom next week will be current champions UP-Tuks and challengers NWU-Pukke, Maties, UCT, UJ, Kovsies, NMMU and UWC.
There will be 31 hard-hitting, high tempo T20 matches hosted by three venues: the Puk Oval, the Ibbies Oval and Senwes Park. These matches will be played in a round robin format and the teams finishing in the top four will contest the semi-finals, with the final taking place on Saturday 30 January. In addition to the final, the curtain-raiser will be a T20 match between local Potchefstroom schools, Volkies and Gimmies.
“This tournament could well become an important component in our talent development pipeline as we noted early success from last year’s edition with a number of players making a successful transition to professional Franchise cricket,” says CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “It is evident that this tournament offers a new platform to unearth young and exciting talent and it is also evident that new fans are being added to the game. It’s important for us to grow our fan base and we are pleased that Varsity Cricket offers a great opportunity to do so.”
The popular pink cricket balls as well as many of the innovative rules that spectators and players have enjoyed will return in 2016. In a slight rule change to the Power Play Plus Over, whereby the batting team can select to have all runs and extras scored in an over doubled, the fielding team will now be allowed to select which bowler will take on the batsmen.
In 2015, the fielding team could not change the bowler once the batting side had signalled that they would initiate their Power Play Plus Over. Should a batsmen lose their wicket during the Power Play Plus Over, five runs will be deducted from the batting side’s score.
Cricket fans can also look forward to viewing a number of televised matches, which will be broadcast live on SuperSport. These include both semi-finals and the final.
Apart from the electrifying on-field action, spectators can expect a range of activities and giveaways. Look forward to everything from the FNB Word Scrabble, where individuals spelling the correct word called out by the MC using their letter-branded T-shirts will each receive a R250 eWallet from FNB, to activities and prizes by Samsung. The crowd will be entertained from the moment the first delivery hits the pitch.
For all the fixtures and news from Varsity Cricket, go to www.varsitysportssa.com
Daily tickets will be available through the Varsity Sports website, the Varsity Sports App and a point of sale.
- R20 for tickets purchased at the gate or pre-sold
- R10 for tickets purchased via the Varsity Sports website or App
- R60 for a pass for the week, which will only be available via the Varsity Sports App
The 2016 edition of Varsity Cricket promises explosive action in an experience that fans won’t forget. Get ready to #ShowYourColours and #GooiSomeGees for your favourite university.