“We’re very happy, the Franchise Challenge was very competitive and the Africa Challenge was good too. We learnt a lot from the first event, we had fun too and we’re proud of this new tournament. We really got our brand and the stadium out there.
“It’s a massive hospitality opportunity so you don’t really expect the general public to come in their droves, but we were pleasantly surprised by how many people were there on Sunday. Compared to a one-day domestic cup event, the crowd was very good,” Faul told The Pretoria News yesterday.
The concept is now set to be taken to neighbouring countries, with two of the participants in the Africa Challenge, Namibia and Zimbabwe, eager to host the event.
“We will roll it out to Walvis Bay and Harare, their representatives were very excited by the tournament and they want to host something similar next year,” Faul said.
Although the format of the competition is set to change, Faul warned that the actual rules of the Sixes game are unlikely to be fiddled with.
“We’ll maybe go for six franchises and four African nations in two pools in the next event, and play it on Friday, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.
“What we don’t want though is for the event to just be normal cricket. We want something else, which is why we bring the boundaries such a long way in and we have five overs with very small boundaries.
“We’re happy with the format of the games, it’s been trialled for years at the Hong Kong Sixes. People mustn’t look at this event with a traditional cricket perspective,” Faul said.
For eons, cricket has somewhat naively been associated with fair play, but the end of the Franchise Challenge, with the Titans deliberately trying to avoid getting someone out so as to avoid Dolphins captain Morne van Wyk, who had an incredible tournament, returning to the crease after his enforced retirement, showed that there are rules in Sixes that can be exploited in ways that some may consider to be “not cricket”.
But Faul said there was no need to change those rules.
“Different strategies will happen as the players play more of the format; the feedback from the players was very positive,” Faul said.
The South African team proved invincible in the Africa Challenge and Faul suggested they would not play in future events so as to level the playing fields. Logistically, it was also well nigh impossible to pick the national team from performances in the Franchise Challenge, leading to a player like Van Wyk being omitted.