New Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has questioned what it takes to attract cricket fans to domestic games.
His reintroduction to South African cricket, having played for Griquas, Gauteng and Border in the late 1990s and early 200s, was in the first round of Sunfoil matches, during which he urged the Proteas players to get out into the middle.
He went to watch the Titans play the Dolphins and was shocked at what he saw.
One of the reasons he sent the Proteas players out ahead of the series against Bangladesh, apart to get some sustained time on the field, was to show them to the public
‘If the Proteas are all playing first-class cricket in the Sunfoil Series, I would expect that more fans would be enthused by it and perhaps come out and watch. One of the disappointing things when I went to watch those games, especially at SuperSport Park, was that there was absolutely nobody in the ground at all.
‘That’s disappointing, especially when you’ve got all the best players in the country playing.’
That match featured the likes of Proteas stars Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Morne Morkel, Farhaan Behardien, Andile Phehlukwayo, not to mention such exciting prospects as Aiden Markram, who subsequently became an international player.