SA20 announce six 'special' awards for inaugural campaign

SA20 announce six 'special' awards for inaugural campaign

If you've been following the first-ever SA20, you'll know by now the tournament – led by commissioner Graeme Smith – is anything but traditional, and so too are the awards set to be handed out in a few days' time.

The new premier domestic T20 league is set to culminate with the final scheduled for Wanderers Stadium this Saturday after the top four teams battle it out in the semi-final on Wednesday and Thursday.

But more than the maiden crown and prize money on offer for the winning team, individual accolades will also be bestowed upon those stand-out stars from the inaugural season.

These include the Player of the Season, Batter of the Season, Bowler of the Season, 2023 Rising Star, Spirit of Cricket and Groundsman of the Season awards.

The Player of the Season, which is synonymous with football competitions, is a first-of-its-kind in cricket and is aimed at honouring the player with the best overall contribution in terms of "batting, bowling, fielding, captaincy, player of the match awards and being on the winning team."

Similarly, the Batter of the Season award will not go the traditional way of the batter who tallied the most runs, but instead to the player highest ranked in batting points, while the Bowler of the Season will have his bowling points taken into account.

The 2023 Rising Star award is open to those under the age of 25 as of 10 January 2023, and will also be filtered from the overall MVP list consisting of batting, bowling, fielding, captaincy, player of the match awards and being on the winning team.

The Spirit of Cricket award will be voted for by the tournament match referees and umpires and will take into account "the spirit of the game, respect to the opposition, respect to umpires and respect for laws of the game."

Finally, the Groundsman of the Season award will go to the groundsman who prepared the best wicket of the tournament, after match referees awarded "scores post-game on the quality of the pitch and outfield conditions and its suitability of the T20 format."