The Cape Town Cricket Sixes Festival was fun. There was loads of highlights but a few disappointments too.
This weekend saw the start of, hopefully, something very special for the cricketing community. The Cape Town Cricket Sixes is hoping to become a similar tournament to the Takealot10’s rugby festival. It’s the first year they’ve had it – so I’m sure they’ll learn from their errors and focus on what went well.
Brett Schultz and Meyrick Pringle are the ambassadors for this tournament, and what they did brilliantly, was get a few of their old Protea mates to enter a side. The Toshiba Tigers had the likes of Allan Donald, Meyrick Pringle, Rory Kleinveldt and Aubrey Martin.
Getting to play against you childhood hero’s is undoubtedly the best feeling in the world. They were obviously not playing at 100% of their potential, or even 50% for that matter, but that didn’t matter. When Meyrick Pringle is in his delivery stride – you feel like a professional cricketer… and I’m speaking from personal experience.
This is where they got it spot on. These guys were all so social – our team spent a good few hours socialising with them over a cold beer and basically interviewing them…. “what’s your best moment with the Protea’s?” “What do you think of our current domestic cricket?” and eventually one team member that hit the bottle a bit early confessed to White Lighting that “I had a poster of you on my bedroom wall!” Look, we all did, but it’s a bit weird confessing that as a 30 year old man. The conversation kind of petered out after that… It also may have had something to do with that fact that he brought up 1999 with A.D.
Another great thing about the festival was that all the teams (in our league at least – I didn’t watch other leagues) were decently matched. There were no games that were completely one sided and matches often went down to the last over.
On the downside, each team was only given three games on Saturday. We opened the tournament at 8am, our next game was then at 1pm. Keeping ourselves occupied for five hours was tough, especially in the heat. Our third game was then at 5pm, four hours after our second game. Nine hours and only three games – surely they could arrange five or six games in a day.
The last negative was the price of things. Entry for non players was R150 on the Saturday and R250 on the Sunday. OK, there were bands on the Sunday, but to me, that is far too much – we had loads of friends and family wanting to come watch, but they weren’t willing to pay R150 entry, to come watch us play 3 quick games. For us players, we were massively disappointed to be charged R30/R35 for a small 330ml tin of Castle Lite! If getting in was expensive, trying to have a few social beers was exorbitant. You also had to keep hold of your plastic cup, otherwise they kept charging you R5 for a new one. I’m convinced if they charged R50 to get into and R18-R20 a beer, they would have had double or triple the amount of people and made loads more money. But we still had a fun after party!
All in all, I think it was a great experience and absolutely can not wait for next year. I’m struggling to find a previous memory that was more exhilarating than facing guys I used to idolise. In an ideal world, next year will have double the amount of teams, more games for all teams and be a bit more affordable.
Till next year….