The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has welcomed the return of the highly entertaining T20 cricket format to the City with the establishment of the SunRisers Eastern Cape team, which will be part of the new SA20 tournament.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape is owned by India’s Sun TV Network, which is one of the largest media groups in the country. It successfully bid for the Eastern Cape SA20 franchise, which gives it the rights to the team for the next 10 years.
"We are excited to see the return of T20 cricket to the City. It will help the City come alive,” said Executive Mayor Cllr Eugene Johnson at a City Hall meeting with a senior SunRisers Eastern Cape delegation from India.
City Manager Dr. Noxolo Nqwazi said the return of an international sporting event would help the City to recover from the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns, create jobs and grow the City’s economy.
"We are excited to see cricket bringing investors into the City,” she said.
Mr. K. Shanmugam, Head of Sports Division, SunRisers, promised that the team would bring high-energy entertaining T20 cricket to the City.
The Sunrise Franchise will also work with local cricketing bodies to identify and nurture the development of promising young talent. Talented players will be given the opportunity to play for SunRisers Hyderabad in the Indian PSL.
Acting Executive Director for Sport, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Charmaine Williams said the City’s ongoing investment and support for the St George’s cricket ground was a result of a long-standing relationship with Eastern Province Cricket.
NMBM will continuously collaborate with critical stakeholders to attract and the ensure success of the upcoming SA20 games. This project will enhance the brand equity of the City, Province and country, as a viable world class sports destination of choice.