- Shamser Khalid
SA20 Features a Ball Catching Competition
The SA20 league had plenty of exciting matches. More than excitement on the field, there was excitement in the stands too. During the games last week, the fans had a ball-catching competition held by the naming rights sponsor of the tournament, Betway.
The competition is called ‘Catch A Million’ and is an ongoing event for the tournament. Any spectator aged over 18 that takes a “clean, one-handed catch” in the crowd during a game will be awarded a share of one million rands ($AUD85,000). The catch will only count if the ball has not touched anything more than the palm of the spectator who caught the ball.
This rule means that the ball cannot come off a hat, umbrella, another hand, shoulder, or chest, nor can it be juggled between hands or on one hand.
So far, there are two nominations across the first five games. In the sixth match between the Pretoria Capitals and Sunrisers Eastern Cape at SuperSport Park, there were three potential winners in three overs.
When Pretoria’s Will Jacks hit a massive 90-meter six, one fan made a remarkable catch. The gentleman was sitting on the grass with a beer in his left hand before raising his left hand and plucking the ball cleanly. He celebrated the catch by holding the ball and beer aloft while seated.
An over later, Jacks’s hit was caught by another fan. The ball had launched over the long-off rope, where it was cleanly taken by a jubilant fan wearing a Proteas 1999 World Cup shirt.
When Jacks hit a clean strike over the long-on, a man took the ball cleanly while holding onto his beer with the other hand.
Commentator Mike Haysman had plenty to say about the fans’ catching skills. During one of the catches, he said, “This is extraordinary. They’ve been practising flat-out here in this part of the world. My goodness me.”
Unfortunately, not all fans were successful in catching the ball. In the 12th over of the first innings, a fan had crashed through a picket fence during an unsuccessful try.
In the end, Pretoria won by 37 runs, and Will Jacks was named player of the match for his explosive knock of 92 off 46 balls. The next SA20 game will be between the Sunrisers Eastern Cape and the MI Cape Town.
Aside from this, Betway shared a post on Twitter showing a photo of the three catchers with the caption, “The Betway Catch a Million competition entrants at Centurion!!”
The ‘Betway Catch a Million’ competition was first announced on January 10. It will be open for all 33 matches across the country and fans have plenty of opportunities to win the match. If the catcher is a Betway client before the match, their prize money will be doubled.
In one interview, Betway Head of Marketing, Mark Rowles, said: “As part of our title sponsorship we wanted to bring something to the fans in the stadium and are excited to be able to launch the Betway Catch a Million.