Graeme Smith: Inaugural SA20 boosted the economies of its cities and ‘exceeded expectations’

The captains of the six launch teams of the SA20

Sunrisers Eastern Cape beat Pretoria Capitals in final of January’s first SA20

The SA20 commissioner Graeme Smith says the first edition of South Africa’s T20 franchise competition “exceeded expectations” while boosting local economies and is now expanding as a result.

Next year’s competition will have a 12% increase in the salary cap to 2.15m dollars and also larger squad sizes to further encourage local talent.

January’s event was won by Sunrisers Eastern Cape as they beat Pretoria Capitals by four wickets in front of a sell-out crowd in Johannesburg.

“The economic impact is already huge from the study we’ve done,” former South Africa captain Smith told BBC Sport Africa.

“Employment is growing because of the investment. It’s developing and getting these global teams, franchises and businesses to really start investing in a country like South Africa and Africa as a whole.

“Post Covid, a lot of the industries in and around sport took a beating and it’s an area that is now really growing…