Cricket in South Africa

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Cricket in South Africa
Country South Africa
Governing body Cricket South Africa
National team South Africa
Nickname(s) The Proteas
First played 1888
National competitions
Club competitions

Cricket is the second most popular sport in South Africa, and is popular among English-speaking as well as Afrikaans-speaking whites, and the Asian/Muslim community. Report 2015-2016 cricket growth 9.4% in South Africa and in black South African community cricket growth 21% to prefer watching cricket. South Africa is a leading cricket-playing nation in the world, and is one of 10 countries sanctioned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to play Test Cricket.

It also hosted the 2003 Cricket World Cup and the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.


Cricket in South Africa was established by the British, and the first tour by a side from England took place in 1888–89. Here South Africa played its first Test match (against touring England at Port Elizabeth), becoming the third test nation.

In 1970, the ICC voted to suspend South Africa from international Cricket indefinitely because of its government's policy of apartheid, an overtly racist policy, which led them to play only against the white nations (England, Australia, New Zealand), and field only white players. This decision excluded players such as Graeme Pollock from partaking in international Test Cricket. It would also cause the emigration of future stars like Tony Greig, Allan Lamb and Robin Smith, who all played for England, and Kepler Wessels, who initially played for Australia, before returning to South Africa.

The ICC reinstated South Africa as a Test nation in 1991 after the deconstruction of apartheid, and the team played its first sanctioned match since 1970 (and its first ever One-Day International) against India in Calcutta on 10 November 1991.


Cricket was traditionally popular among English-speaking whites, and the Asian/Muslim community, though the latter were not able to compete in top level South African cricket in the Apartheid era. Since the end of the Apartheid era a higher proportion of white players have come from Afrikaans-speaking backgrounds like Lance Klusener, Kepler Wessels, Hansie Cronje, Allan Donald, Boeta Dippenaar, Herschelle Gibbs, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Francois du Plessis, Rilee Rossouw, JP Duminy, Charl Langeveldt, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn among others. Its popularity has grown markedly amongst other groups, though cricket remains the favourite sport for Coloured and Asian/Indian/Muslim South Africans as well as people of English descent. This has other reasons, since cricket can be an expensive and is a typically middle class game, it does not appeal to blacks like football or rugby union does. However, a considerable number of blacks have played cricket for South Africa since the late 1990s, the most notable being Makhaya Ntini, who was the first black cricketer to play for South Africa, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Aaron Phangiso and Kagiso Rabada.

Today, cricket is the second most popular sport in South Africa, and is the only sport in the country to feature in the top 2 sports of all race groups. This has had both successes -Herschelle Gibbs, a Cape Coloured, is one of the sport's most dominating batsmen and the black bowler Makhaya Ntini reached number 2 in the ICC Player Rankings in 2006 — and unintended side effects. Kevin Pietersen, who is white and was born to a South African father and English mother, left the country claiming that he was put at a disadvantage by the quota system, and within a few years became one of the world's top batsmen – as a member of the England cricket team.

The quota system has since been repealed.

Governing body[edit]

Main article: Cricket South Africa

Formerly known as the United Cricket Board of South Africa, Cricket South Africa is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in South Africa.

South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council and African Cricket Association with Test and One Day International status.

Domestic cricket[edit]

South Africa's three major domestic competitions are the SuperSport Series (four day first class competition), the MTN Domestic Championship (List A one-day competition) and Standard Bank Pro 20 Series (domestic Twenty20 competition). During the 1970s and 1980s, a first-class tournament for non-whites called the Howa Bowl was also played.

Generally encompassing more than one provincial associate team, six first-class teams take part in the SuperSport Series, MTN Championships and Pro 20 Series competitions.

National teams[edit]

The South African team at The Oval in August 2008.

The South Africa national cricket team, also known as the Proteas is the national cricket team representing South Africa. They are administrated by Cricket South Africa.

South Africa is a full member of the International Cricket Council with Test and One Day International status.

A women's team also competes.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]