T20 Domestic Cup
Countries South Africa South Africa
Administrator Cricket South Africa
Format Twenty20
First tournament 2003–04
Tournament format Double round-robin, qualifier and final
Number of teams 7
Qualification Champions League Twenty20

THE T20 Challenge competition was launched at the end of the 2003/04 season to introduce the newest format of the game to the South African cricketing public and to launch the regional franchise concept at the same time.

That it has exceeded beyond even the wildest expectations on both counts is beyond dispute.

The franchise system has become the bedrock on which Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) strategy to become a leading player in the world is based. It has produced strength versus strength contests that compare favourably with the domestic competitions in Australia which are generally regarded as having the highest standard of play in the world.

This is borne out by the success of the South Africa A side and the Emerging Squad with the latter having regularly done extremely well in an Australian-based competition. More recently the best domestic teams from around the world have gone head to head in the Champions’ League and both the Nashua Cape Cobras and the Chevrolet Central Franchise gave as good as they got in the inaugural edition at the start of the 2009/10 season.

The T20 Challenge has become a runaway favourite with the public in South Africa as it has elsewhere in the world. It has become a cash cow both for the franchises and for the players themselves. As a result domestic attendances have started rising again and the franchises have also been able to cash in from having every game shown live on SuperSport’s television channels.

From an individual point of view the T20 Challenge provides a showcase for players outside CSA’s elite list of contracted players to gain Indian Premier League (IPL) contracts with the almost limitless riches that that competition offers.