South Africans are spoiled for choice when it comes to cricket competitions to bet on. Here, we have picked out some of the most important leagues and events in the world of cricket betting.
Test matches: For many cricket lovers, there is still nothing better than a Test match. Taking place over five days allows a lot of ebb and flow during the action - with lots of betting chances too. Test matches are played around the world and throughout the year. South Africa usually play at least one Test series at home during the summer and tour at least one other Test-playing nation during the South African winter. Other Test teams that are popular to bet on in South Africa include the likes of England, Australia, India, West Indies, plus world champions New Zealand, who won the first ever World Test Championship when the final was held in 2021.
ODIs: One Day Internationals (ODIs for short) are very popular for cricket betting as well. Action for this type of match takes about eight hours in full, while day-night matches are common as well. South Africa has had some incredible ODI players over the years, with Quinton de Kock arguably the best of the current bunch that stars for the Proteas. Again, a lot of ODIs are played throughout the year and countries such as Ireland, not deemed a major Test nation, play plenty of ODIs as well. South Africa played a handful of ODIs against Ireland during 2021. The most important ODIs take place in the Cricket World Cup, which is held every four years. The next Cricket World Cup is set to take place in India during October and November 2023. England will be the defending champions at that event after they won the last World Cup on their home soil.
T20s: Even though Twenty20 is still a relatively new form of the game, its popularity continues to rocket. International T20s take place around the year with South Africa usually challenging to be one of the best teams of the world in this format. As with ODIs, there is a T20 World Cup where the best players take each other on for the grand prize. The 2021 T20 World Cup was set to be held in Australia but had to be postponed and moved due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At first the event was switched to India, but it will now take place in the UAE and Oman. Unusually, another T20 World Cup will then be held in 2022 too, with Australia hosting it in October and November.
Women's cricket: Most interest in cricket in South Africa surrounds the men's game, but the popularity of women's cricket is growing too. Women's international cricket competitions include the Women's Ashes - which sees England take on Australia - as well as the Women's T20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be held every two years. The next Women's T20 World Cup will not be taking place until 2023, with South Africa confirmed as the hosts of the event. It is expected the Women's T20 World Cup will lead to a huge spike in interest in women's cricket.
Domestic T20 leagues: It is nearly 20 years since the first domestic T20 league was set up and now similar competitions are held all over the world. In 2008, the launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL) took the sport by storm and this is still the top domestic T20 league in the world. South African cricket fans no doubt love to tune in to the Mzansi Super League, which was founded just a couple of years ago in 2018. Made up of six teams - Cape Town Blitz, Durban Heat, Jozi Stars, Nelson Mandela Bay Giants, Paarl Rocks and Tshwane Spartans - the Mzansi Super League has long been touted to expand even further with the arrival of new franchises Bloemfontein Knight Riders and East London Pirates. Some of the other top domestic T20 leagues around the world include the Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League, New Zealand's Super Smash, Australia's Big Bash, T20 Blast and the Bangladesh Premier League.
The Hundred and other short-form competitions: New for 2021 was The Hundred, which had initially been set to take place for the first time in 2020 but had to be postponed by a full 12 months as a result of the pandemic. Based on a similar format to the IPL, it sees city-based franchises face off in England and Wales. The Hundred is similar to T20 but matches are slightly shorter, with each team getting 100 balls to score as many runs as they can. Even shorter than T20 and The Hundred, the Abu Dhabi T10 League sees teams pile up as many runs as they can in just 10 overs, with matches completed in around 90 minutes, far shorter than most games.