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SA20: MI Cape Town to host Paarl Royals in league opener on January 10, 2023

Johannesburg, Nov 8 (IANS) The much-anticipated SA20 blasts off with an exciting Western Cape derby between MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals at Newlands Cricket Ground on January 10.

The full match schedule of 33 matches to be played at six venues across the country was announced today, with only two months to go until the start of South Africa’s premier T20 League.

MI Cape Town will look to captivate the Newlands faithful with their star-studded line-up that includes Proteas spearhead Kagiso Rabada, Afghanistan spin maestro Rashid Khan, England’s six-hitting specialist Liam Livingstone, and South Africa’s teenage sensation, Dewald Brevis among others.

The Royals have assembled an equal galaxy of stars that is headlined by England white-ball captain Jos Buttler, along with his Lords’ 2019 World Cup-winning teammates Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan. They will be joined by Proteas trio David Miller, Lungi Ngidi and Tabraiz Shamsi, who are under the guidance of former Proteas all-rounder JP Duminy as head coach.

The opening game, along with the remaining 32 matches, will all be broadcast exclusively live on SuperSport in Sub-Saharan Africa and Viacom18 Sports to India’s cricket-loving and passionate fanbase.

“Releasing fixtures for the opening season is a milestone for us all at SA20,” League Commissioner, Graeme Smith said.

“It’s all getting very real, we certainly can’t wait to watch the world’s best go head-to-head. Fans can look forward to the blockbuster schedule kicking off with the popular local derby between MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals on January 10.

“Fans will be able to watch the best local and international T20 stars live in action at prime viewing times for the afternoon and evening matches. This is also an ideal broadcasting slot ensuring viewers around the world can also keep up with the enthralling entertainment,” Smith explained.

The action is relentless with the SA20 caravan moving around the country for two weeks, with at least one game every single day until January 24. Each team will play five home and five away matches, with fans finally getting a taste of what the IPL-owned teams will be bringing to the local flavour.

Among these matches is five visits to St George’s Park where the Sunrisers Eastern Cape and their 12th man, the famous brass band, will ensure every visit to Gqeberha is a memorable one.

The first Highveld derby between the Joburg Super Kings and Pretoria Capitals is set for the Wanderers Cricket Stadium on January 17. The JSK squad is brimmed with speed merchants Gerald Coetzee, Nandre Burger, West Indian Alzarri Joseph and England’s George Garton who are all set to steam in at the Bullring. The Capitals will be equally up to the challenge, with Proteas speedsters Anrich Nortje and Wayne Parnell leading alongside Ireland’s Josh Little.

Everyone will be able to catch their breath for a week towards the end of January when the League takes a break for the three-match One-Day International Series between the Proteas and England. The action resumes at Kingsmead for the clash between hosts Durban’s Super Giants and MI Cape Town on February 2.

Lance Klusener’s men will look to make their home-ground advantage count as this will be the first of only two matches played at Kingsmead in the second half of schedule with the remainder of the games all taking place at Wanderers and SuperSport Park in Centurion due to the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup to be hosted in South Africa in February.

The grand final will be staged at the Wanderers on February 11, 2023 where the first-ever SA20 Champions will be crowned.

“The Wanderers has hosted many memorable finals throughout the years, we expect a full house in attendance to watch the first-ever SA20 Champions lifting the trophy. We are thankful to have the buy-in from all six franchises to make this season a success and we look forward to making this inaugural season of the SA20 something special for the fans!”

–IANS

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