Eight universities will go head-to-head in the third edition of Varsity Cricket, which is set to get underway on 30 January.
Each team will face their seven opponents before the top four progress to the semi-finals and final. The three venues including Senwes Park, Puk Oval & Ibbies Oval, will play host to the one-week tournament once again. The final will be played on Saturday 4 February at Senwes Park.
‘The benefits to our cricket development pipeline are obvious with our eight leading cricket-playing tertiary institutions challenging in highly competitive match play in a professional environment,’ said Cricket South Africa CEO, Haroon Lorgat. ‘In fact, we are delighted that this tournament has gone far beyond that. Varsity Sports is acknowledged across many codes as a leader in innovation and fresh thinking and there is no better environment for that than the community that Varsity Sports serves.’
Defending Varsity Cricket champions, University of Pretoria (UP-Tuks) will be joined by hosts North West University (NWU-Pukke), Stellenbosch University (Maties), University of Johannesburg (UJ), University of Western Cape (UWC), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), University of Free State (Kovsies) and University of Cape Town (UCT).
The winning team will not only win the first prize of R14 850, but will also represent South Africa at the 2017 Red Bull Campus Cricket World Finals, as 2015 and 2016 champions, UP-Tuks, have done. The Pretoria side won the international tournament in 2014 and 2015. They came close to making it three from three in the 2016 edition of the global showpiece but were outsmarted by the eventual champions, Sri Lanka, in the semi-final.
The Power Play Plus over, an exciting Varsity Cricket innovation, will feature again at the 2017 instalment. All runs scored within this over will be doubled and added to the team’s extras. However, should a batsman lose his 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.
Daily tickets will be available through the Varsity Sports website, the Varsity Sports App and at the gate.
· R20 for tickets purchased at the gate or pre-sold
· R10 for tickets purchased via the Varsity Sports website or App
Photo: Mario van de Wall/Saspa