Cricket Gets Quick in Cape Town

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The Champions League T20 came to South Africa for two weeks of cricket, beer, cricket, beer, sixes, beer, and probably some more beer.

The past few weeks in Cape Town have been wild. We’re talking rivers of beer, fireworks going off nonstop, and dancers shaking their stuff. It’s what an After Hours Athlete dreams about. And it’s all to celebrate...Cricket?

The Champions League T20 was one long party. T20 is cricket’s newest format—a shortened form of the game with only 20 overs an inning. This means a game only lasts three to four hours; a mere heartbeat when compared to the typical five-day test match.

This is pocket cricket, fast-food cricket, cricket for the man who doesn’t have a moment to spare, but a party to find. Add fireworks, banging tunes, dancers, and performers, and things start to get rowdy.

The Champions League T20, like the soccer equivalent, sees the best club cricket teams in the world compete for two weeks. We headed down to Newlands cricket stadium in Cape Town – arguably the most beautiful cricket ground in the world – and joined the crowds to watch Yorkshire play Mumbai.

The weather was a little dodgy, but a decent crowd had turned out. Draught beer was flowing – the grease that oils the avid cricket watcher’s cogs – boerie rolls (a South African hotdog) with all the toppings and sauces were eaten, and bowls of hot curry passed around. We couldn’t get enough of the hot donuts. The batsmen were klapping (the Afrikaans word for hitting) it all over the park and keeping the crowd entertained.

With every boundary scored fireworks would explode, and dancers would jiggle themselves on a stage just in front of the spectators. This was a far cry from the men in white linen suits and ties politely clapping for every run and slowly chewing on cucumber sandwiches and tea. It was our kind of party.

Photos courtesy of Genevieve Akal