The pleasing aspect of this new T20 competition is that the top club players do get the opportunity to take part as well, with the Titans, Northerns and premier league players auctioned off with each team having a certain number of points to spend.
“You want to give club cricketers bubbling under the first-class sides the opportunity to show what they can do and this tournament does that,” Titans CEO Jacques Faul told The Pretoria News yesterday.
The involvement of established Titans stars like Ethy Mbhalati, Shaun von Berg, Roelof van der Merwe, David Wiese, Heino Kuhn and Mangaliso Mosehle, as well as up-and-coming junior stars like Murray Coetzee, Corbin Bosch and Aiden Markram will ensure that there is plenty of interest in the new event.
The support of the commercial partners – Global Softech Solutions (Gladiators), Nashua Tshwane (Phantoms), WAD Holdings (Pirates) and TMM Capital Investments (Tornados) – has also ensured that the inaugural event makes financial sense and Faul is hopeful that the tournament will take off and grow.
The Phantoms and the Tornados have the most Titans players with five each, while the Gladiators have three and the Pirates have decided to just use the services of national T20 star David Wiese.
Given the nature of T20 cricket and the autumnal pitches, it seems the Phantoms will obviously be the team to beat, boasting four high-quality spinners in Roelof van der Merwe, Shaun von Berg, Eden Links and young Thomas Kaber.
The Tornados have the batting talents of Heino Kuhn, Mangaliso Mosehle, Graeme van Buuren and Theunis de Bruyn to make them strong contenders as well.
The format of the competition is a round-robin leading to a final. With the problems of dew at this time of year, the decision has been made that all the matches will be day games, with two clashes per day.
Titans high performance coach Pierre Joubert has been appointed as the tournament commissioner.
“The purpose of the Bash is to give top players at club level an opportunity to perform at SuperSport Park and to give them a taste of provincial cricket. The Titans also wish to enhance our relationships with commercial partners and attract them to the Titans family,” Joubert said.
“All the commercial partners will have naming rights on the shirts of their team members, and will also get free access to suites for their company for the duration of the RamSlam T20 Challenge next season.
“There is a fresh vibe around SuperSport Park as club and provincial players are talking about the privilege of being part of the Northerns Bash. Some of the companies have asked if they could organise special barbeques and team mascots and we are naturally very happy for the companies to do that, as it enhances a great fun element and atmosphere at these matches,” said Joubert.
Entrance for all four days of the Northerns Bash will be free.
Gladiators: Lerato Kgoatle, Cobus Pienaar, Ethy Mbhalati, Andre Malan, Bafana Mahlangu, Sean Dickson, Tertius Gouws, Murray Coetzee, Ryan Houbart, Corbin Bosch, Ruan Sadler, Kabelo Raseleka, Vincent Moore, Janneman Malan, Evan Jones, Ryk Eksteen. Coach – Johan Muller, manager – Leela Yemineni.
Phantoms: Thomas Kaber, Shaun von Berg, Qaasim Adams, JP de Villiers, Eden Links, Patrick Motao, Jason Brooker, Kobus Delport, Sean Phillips, Aiden Markram, Wayne Scott, Blake Schraader, Stefan Klopper, Roelof van der Merwe, Henk Coetzee, Roger Arendse, Rowan Richards. Coach – Nico Martin, manager – Divan Malan.
Pirates: Lesiba Ngoepe, Sash Naidoo, Heinrich Klaasen, David Bunn, David Wiese, Eldred Hawken, Dean Foxcroft, Ryan Cartwright, Cloete Buitendag, Tom Khoza, Wian van Heerden, Schalk van Heerden, Rivaldo Moonsammy, Willem Britz, Abrie Smit, Craig Letcher. Coach – Arno van Wyk, manager – French van Heerden.
Tornados: Heino Kuhn, Mangaliso Mosehle, Graeme van Buuren, Sami Mofokeng, Theunis de Bruyn, Junior Dala, Lucas Manzini, Regardt Verster, Gerry Pike, Jacques Snyman, Gerhard Linde, Thean Schutte, Niki Bouwer, Tyler Easton, Sean Nowak, Ruben Claassen. Coach – Pierre de Bruyn, manager – Aldin Smith.