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Howa Bowl

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Howa Bowl
AdministratorSouth African Cricket Board
FormatFirst Class (3 day)
First edition1972/73
Latest edition1990/91
Tournament formatRound-robin
Number of teams4
Most successfulWestern Province (14)
Most runsYacoob Omar (3377)
Most wicketsVincent Barnes (304)

The Howa Bowl was a first-class cricket competition in South Africa that ran from the 1972–73 to 1990–91 cricket seasons. Originally known as the Dadabhay Trophy, it was contested between Eastern Province, Natal, Transvaal, and Western Province.

The Howa Bowl was run during South Africa's exclusion from international cricket due to apartheid. It was limited to non-white players, who were not permitted to compete in the Currie Cup. It was organised by the South African Cricket Board, with the matches being played over three days. The pitches used in the competition were of poor quality, which is highlighted by the fact that a team made 400 or more in an innings just six times while being bowled out for under 100 on 87 occasions.[1]

In 1991, the fall of apartheid saw South Africa's sporting isolation ended and led to the formation of the United Cricket Board (UCB). Consequently, the racial divisions in the nation's domestic cricket were abolished after 102 years: with this, the raison d'etre for the Howa Bowl ceased to exist, and the competition was ended.

First-class status


Although the 216 Howa Bowl matches had not been given first-class status when the competition ended, the UCB subsequently requested that these be added retrospectively. In 2006, Wisden added these matches to the official records and seven other representative matches between non-white teams.

This decision meant that West Indian Test cricketer Rohan Kanhai, who had played in the competition's 1974/75 season with success, moved past Plum Warner on the list of all-time leading first-class run scorers, and also joined his former teammate Gary Sobers with 86 career centuries.[2]

Further to this, two more instances of the rare dismissal handled the ball was added to the records, along with the first-ever case of a batter being given out timed out: Andrew Jordaan, playing for Eastern Province v Transvaal at Port Elizabeth in 1987–88 – he had been not out overnight, but arrived late the following day due to the roads being poor after torrential rain.

Champions by season


The Howa Bowl was dominated by Western Province, who won fourteen of the 19 titles outright (one was shared with Natal, which was Natal's only title), while Eastern Province won three and Transvaal won one.[3]

Tournament Winner Leading run-scorer Leading wicket-taker
1972/73 Western Province
Sedick Conrad (447) Ismail Ebrahim (33)
1973/74 Western Province Moosa Mangera (360) Keith Barker (26)
1974/75 Transvaal Rohan Kanhai (460) Saait Magiet (28)
1975/76 Western Province Yacoob Omar (435) Howard Bergins (30)
1976/77 No competition
1977/78 Western Province Yacoob Omar (498) Armien Jabaar (24)
1978/79 Eastern Province Yacoob Omar (381) Rushdi Magiet (27)
1979/80 Western Province Graham Francois (317) Lefty Adams (40)
1980/81 Western Province Rashaad Musson (467) E Frans (39)
1981/82 Western Province Neil Fortune (448) Mustapha Khan (39)
1982/83 Western Province Mansoor Abdullah (270) Vincent Barnes (41)
1983/84 Western Province N Edwards (338) Armien Jabaar (30)
1984/85 Eastern Province Garth Cuddumbey (313) Stephen Draai (32)
1985/86 Eastern Province Haroon Lorgat (417) Vincent Barnes (36)
T le Roux (36)
Jack Manack (36)
1986/87 Western Province Saait Magiet (335) Vincent Barnes (42)
1987/88 Western Province Faiek Davids (429) Jack Manack (28)
1988/89 Western Province Faiek Davids (436) Jack Manack (26)
1989/90 Western Province Andre Peters (363) Jack Manack (27)
1990/91 Western Province Nazeem White (407) Jack Manack (31)

Statistical leaders

Player Runs Average
Yacoob Omar 3,337 34.81
Khaya Majola 2,826 20.77
Saait Magiet 2,650 29.12
Mansoor Abdullah 2,294 28.67
Haroon Lorgat 2,183 24.67
Player Wickets Average
Vincent Barnes 304 11.12
Seraj Gabriels 254 15.07
Mustapha Khan 248 19.26
Armien Jabaar 233 13.39
Khaya Majola 219 16.64


  1. ^ "Setting the records straight". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2006.
  2. ^ "Overall First-Class Records". CricketArchive. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Howa Bowl 1983/84 Schedule | Howa Bowl Fixtures & Results". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 24 April 2024.
  4. ^ a b Engel, Matthew; Samson, Andrew (2006). "Setting the records straight". In Engel, Matthew (ed.). Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2006 (143 ed.). Alton, Hampshire: John Wisden & Co. pp. 79–80. ISBN 0-947766-98-7.