Cricket On The Path To Potch

The second edition of South Africa’s university T20 cricket tournament, Varsity Cricket, will kick 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 represent South Africa at the 2016 Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals.

Winners of the inaugural competition, University of Pretoria (UP-Tuks), successfully defended their Red Bull Campus title in India this year and will look to make it three in a row in 2016.  Varsity Sports code manager for cricket Jana Arlow says:  ‘Due to the cancelation of the USSA tournament this year, the same eight teams from 2015 will compete in the 2016 tournament.  We look forward to hosting current champions UP-Tuks and challengers NWU-Pukke, Maties, UCT, UJ, Kovsies, NMMU and UWC in Potchefstroom.’  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.  The victors of those two semi-finals will slug it out on Saturday 30 January for the right to be crowned 2016 Varsity Cricket champions. In addition to the final, the curtain-raiser will be a T20 match between local Potchefstroom schools Volkies and Gimmies.  Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat says:  ‘In this second edition we once again look forward to unearthing new, young and exciting talent.  If we look at last season’s inaugural tournament some of the emerging stars included the likes of Ruben Claassen, Jerry Nqolo, Bjorn Fortuin and Tshepo Ntuli who have all gone on to make their mark at Franchise level this season.  Interestingly, three of these are spin bowlers which augurs well for the development of this particular art.  There is also the prospect of adding more new fans to the game with the Varsity Cricket format offering the perfect opportunity to do so.’

The popular pink cricket balls and 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 face 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.  

Here are the Fixtures:

FIXTURES 2016

Monday, 25 January

   

 

Senwes Park

Puk Oval

Ibbies Oval

11:00 – 14:10

 

 

 

14:30 – 17:40

NMMU vs Kovsies

Maties vs UJ

UWC vs UCT

18:00 – 21:10

NWU Puk vs Tuks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 26 January

 

 

 

 

Senwes Park

Puk Oval

Ibbies Oval

10:00 – 13:10

 

Tuks vs UCT

NMMU vs Maties

14:00 – 17:10

UJ vs UWC

UCT vs NMMU

Kovsies vs Tuks

18:00 – 21:10

NWU Puk vs Maties

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 27 January

 

 

 

 

Senwes Park

Puk Oval

Ibbies Oval

10:00 – 13:10

 

Maties vs Kovsies

NWU Puk vs UCT

14:00 – 17:10

Maties vs Tuks

UJ vs Kovsies

NMMU vs UWC

18:00 – 21:10

UWC vs NWU Puk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 28 January

 

 

 

Field

Senwes Park

Puk Oval

Ibbies Oval

10:00 – 13:10

 

NWU Puk vs UJ

NMMU vs Tuks

14:00 – 17:10

NMMU vs UJ

Kovsies vs UWC

Maties vs UCT

18:00 – 21:10

UWC vs Tuks

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 29 January

 

 

 

Field

Senwes Park

Puk Oval

Ibbies Oval

10:00 – 13:10

 

UJ vs UCT

Kovsies vs NWU Puk

14:00 – 17:10

NWU Puk vs NMMU

Maties vs UWC

UCT vs Kovsies

18:00 – 21:10

Tuks vs UJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 30 January

 

 

 

Field

Senwes Park

 

 

09:00 – 12:10

Semi-final 1 (SuperSport 7)

 

 

12:30 – 15:40

Semi-final 2 (SuperSport 7)

 

 

18:00 – 21:10

Final (SuperSport 2)

 

 

Photo credit: Mario Van De Wall