JOHANNESBURG: Legendary South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis believes that the inaugural edition of SA20 is going to improve the quality and skillsets of young players coming through the ranks in the country.
Kallis will be featuring in SA20 as assistant coach to Graham Ford at the Pretoria Capitals for the inaugural SA20 season, scheduled to be held from January 10 to February 11 next year, after spending time as an experienced T20 coach in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in various roles.
"I think South African cricket has been crying out for this for a long time. I think we've seen the wonderful job it's (franchise league cricket) done around the world in terms of how the local competition has improved cricket."
"Having international players and coaches is also certainly going to provide a good product. It is going to improve the young guys coming through. I have no doubt it's going to be the same here and everyone is looking forward to it. The standard will be very high," Kallis was quoted as saying by an official release issued by the tournament.
The exposure SA20 will provide young players is also unrivalled in South African cricket with all 33 matches of the six-team league being televised live on SuperSport in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in India on Viacom18 Sports.
"With everything being televised, it's a great opportunity for the guys to put their name out there, whether it be for international cricket or other leagues around the world. What better stage for these young guys to put their hand up in this competition?" Kallis enthused.
South African sport is renowned for its fiercely-contested derbies and SA20 will add to that tradition when MI Cape Town and neighbours Paarl Royals kickstart the tournament at Newlands on January 10.
The opening game will be followed by Durban's Super Giants hosting the Jo'burg Super Kings at Kingsmead on January 11, before Kallis' Pretoria Capitals travel to Gqeberha on January 12 to face the Sunrisers Eastern Cape at St George's Park.
"The good thing about all these games is that they are like derbies. And when you look at the teams on paper they are of equal strength and that bodes well for the competition because any one team can beat another," concluded Kallis.