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CSA decides to bring curtain down on season

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“This is undoubtedly the fairest way to decide the various winners”

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Common sense has prevailed in the decisions regarding the winners of the 2019/20 domestic cricket competitions, with Cricket SA, rewarding the teams that topped the log after the round-robin phase when the season was suspended.

That means that in the men’s domestic franchise competitions, the KZN Dolphins were crowned Momentum One-Day Cup champions, while the Lions were awarded the Four-Day Series Challenge title, meaning a successful defence of that competition by the team made up of players from the North West and Central Gauteng provincial teams.

There were still two rounds of matches remaining in the four-day competition which was originally scheduled to finish on April 8. However the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent actions taken by the government to slow the spread thereof forced Cricket SA to prematurely end the season.

The Lions had lost both of their last two matches – the last against the Titans at SuperSport Park on January 22, was a particularly infuriating one for their coach Wandile Gwavu. Had they won there, they would virtually have secured the title. As it was, with two matches remaining they held an eight-point lead over the Titans, while both the Warriors and VKB Knights were within 10 points of the Lions as well.

“This is undoubtedly the fairest way to decide the various winners,” said Cricket SA’s interim Director of Cricket Graeme Smith, who had been tasked with coming up with recommendations for how to decide the winners. His recommendations were ratified by the Members Council – all the provincial presidents – yesterday.

While the Dolphins are the official champions of the Momentum Cup, they won’t be awarded the full prize-money as that competition isn’t decided on a league basis only as is the case with the four-day tournament. Four teams qualified for the knockout phase of the competition, the last of those being the Knights who secured their place in the final round-robin match by beating the Titans.

Following an agreement between Cricket SA and the sponsors Momentum, the prize-money in that competition was split between the four teams that qualified for the semi-finals, with the Dolphins earning a 40 percent share, the Lions, who finished second, 30 percent and the Warriors and Knights 15 percent each.

“In the Momentum One-Day Cup it was also important that we put extra weight on the performances of the teams that earned home ground advantage for the knock-out stage,” Smith said by way of explaining the split.

In the semi-pro competitions Free State (Pool A) and Northern Cape (Pool B) were named joint-winners of the CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge while Easterns (Pool A) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (Pool B) share the spoils in the CSA Provincial Three-Day Cup.

“In the provincial competitions where some teams have played more games than others, we have taken the average number of points per game to decide on final log positions,” said Smith.

Cricket South Africa
Domestic winners

Four-Day Series

Imperial Lions

Momentum One-Day Cup

Hollywoodbets Dolphins

CSA Provincial Three-Day Cup

Easterns and KwaZulu Natal
(joint-winners)

CSA Provincial One-Day Challenge

Free State and Northern Cape
(joint-winners)

Women’s T20 League

Western Province

Women’s Provincial 50-over League

North West