This is the premier first class cricket competition that takes place in South Africa every year using the Test format. The ODI equivalent in South Africa is the Momentum One Day Cup.
The tournament is based on a 4 day format where the top 6 teams in South Africa will compete over a 6 month period to determine the winner. The tournament will be played all across South Africa and will be based on a point system where 10 points are awarded to the team that wins, 6 points to each team if it the match turns into a draw and 0 points if there is no result.
Apart from this main point system, there is also a bonus point system based on the first 100 over’s in each innings. The batting bonus is 1 point for reaching 150 runs and then 0.02 points for each run thereafter. The bowling bonus is 1 point for taking the first three wickets and then 1 point for each two wickets after that. This makes for an exciting format which will have the teams trying to play aggressively in order to get an edge in the series.
This cricket competition for South Africa dates back as far as the 18th century when it was known as the Currie Cup. In the past, there were as many as 11 teams from the different provinces of South Africa taking part in this format of the game.
Over the years, the competition has seen a number of changes in terms of cutting back on the number of teams, increasing the prize money, improving ground facilities and also better media coverage. Cricket lovers realize that the best format of the game is Test cricket and this torunament provides the ideal format for showcasing some of South Africa’s new talent that is up and coming.
The tournament has been renamed 4 times since its inception. The name usually changes on the basis of its sponsors. From 1889 till 1989 it was known as the Currie Cup, from 1990 to 1997 it was renamed to the Castle Cup, from 1997 to 2011 it was known as the Supersport Series and then it was again changed in 2012 and renamed as the Sunfoil Series. This was because Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the Willowton Group, who are the manufacturers of Sunfoil Pure Sunflower Cooking Oil signed a sponsorship deal and hence the tournament had a name change.
The tournament dates back over a 100 years and the team that has won the tournament the most number of times (25) is Gauteng and the current champions for 2012-2013 are the Titans. The tournament has been the launching pad for some of South Africa’s greatest cricketers including the likes of Barry Richards, Graeme Pollock, Mike Procter and Jacques Kallis.
Based on the history of the tournament, the leading run scorer with 12,409 runs is Graeme Pollock and the leading wicket taker with 572 wickets is Vincent van der Bijl.
There are currently six teams competing in this tournament:
The tournament will be played over a series of 6 months and will take place at a number of locations. The Sunfoil Series will feature a double round robin format. A number of these locations are used for international matches and have top facilities giving domestic players a glimpse into the international arena.
Some of these grounds include SuperSport Park, Centurion, Sahara Park Newlands, Cape Town, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg, De Beers Diamond Oval, Kimberley and Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban.
Given the fact that this is a small domestic tournament, it does not attract all that many viewers worldwide, and thus the bookmakers are a little cautious in offering bets on these matches. However, they do pop up from time to time, and I would recommend checking out www.Betway.com if you want to bet on the Sunfoil Series. They sometime offer bets on the individual matches, so be on the lookout for that.