Adelaide Premier League launches first season of privately owned T20 competition

The Adelaide Premier League (APL) is the next privately owned T20 competition to take place following in the successful footsteps of the inaugural Brisbane Premier League (BPL) last year.

The privately owned league for junior and senior players is backed by high profile owners including Ian Healy AO, Darren Lehmann, Mark Nicholas, Andrew McRitchie and Stuart Giles with a fresh approach to the game.

The competition has proven to create additional opportunities for male and female players to showcase their talent in an environment for those who dare to dream of reaching the cricketing heights they see achieved by their heroes.

In the BPL, South Australian born and raised players Adam Somerfield, Matt Weaver and Conor McInerney (previously contracted to SA) all participated in the competition which injected over $1 million into grass roots and community cricket.

The APL aims to keep this trajectory growing, giving players who may have previously missed out other opportunities, or indeed those late bloomers, the chance to compete at a level that replicates the professional T20 leagues around the world.

For the first time ever in the southern hemisphere, inspired by The Hundred in the UK but featuring several new innovations to suit the festival format, The Century is a concept that will see senior players compete for the 2022 title under different rules.

Stepping away from the traditional T20 format has allowed the senior competition to evolve and grow the great Australian game once again. For most, this will be the first time they’ve ever played The Century and presents another amazing opportunity for them to learn a new format; one that is sure to have a big future in the world of cricket.

Eight privately owned franchises will make up the APL for the 2022 season spanning across different regions – North, South, East, West, Central, the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and the Barossa Valley.

Community is at the core of these franchises along with learning and development. All franchise owners will pick a team, create their own culture, pick and develop players how they want to and play the style of cricket they want to play.

The auction night is a highlight of the pre-tournament calendar allowing team owners to create a senior team that represents their community proudly. Any of South Australia’s cricketers aged 18 or over can put their hat into the ring regardless of previous performance, the area in which they live in or the club at which they play at. It is also an opportunity for country and older players who can’t commit to premier cricket to challenge themselves at the highest level in the strongest league. The evening is a pressure-ridden, heartpumping, drama-driven auction of the state’s best club cricketers being selected with a fantasy salary cap.

The junior competition will comprise of U/13, U/15 and U/17 with a female U/19 team allowing franchise owners the chance to choose their teams via a draft system, similar to that of the AFL. This process will ensure an even balance of talent, promise and a more level playing field with tighter matches giving all young players a chance to take control of the game. The result is a fun, family-friendly event that will also be live streamed so those who can’t attend can see if their kids and mates are chosen, by who, and where.

All players selected for a team in the APL will be able to emulate their heroes by playing with coloured clothing and white balls to a ground filled with enthusiastic and vested supporters. This will be a chance for them to make their mark in previously uncharted waters and to play with others they might usually compete against, or have never crossed paths with before.

Player nominations will be open from today with the seniors Century tournament taking place over one weekend in early  January 2023 and the junior tournament happening in the December 2022 school holidays across various locations around Adelaide.

Select games will also be live streamed ensuring amateur cricket commands the attention it deserves and reaches the widest possible audience.

Australian history is steeped in the game of cricket. The APL is both aspirational and rewarding at the same time providing legitimate resources to a traditional volunteer organised sport and injecting much needed capital and support into the game at the levels below professional cricket.

This tournament shows the power of cricket in its purest form.

Quote attributable to Stuart Giles, Chair of the Adelaide Premier League

“Building off the success of the Brisbane Premier League in 2021 and expanding the opportunities for cricketers to experience new and innovative formats of the game with the launch of a 2022 Adelaide Premier League is hugely exciting for everyone involved. South Australia provided the largest pool of nominated and selected players from outside Queensland for BPL01 and this level of interest, plus the support of SACA, made it the logical home for our newest competition. I can’t wait to share the excitement of The Century as our three-day, 100-ball per team senior cricket festival in September and then watch the boys and girls of our junior teams showcase their T20 skills they have watched The Strikers execute for years in the October school holidays.” 

Quote attributable to Darren Lehmann

“We are excited to see the APL come to Adelaide and as a franchise owner and former player, I can see how good it will be in helping the game grow through participation for young boys and girls, and senior players. Cricket is a game for all and with the help of everyone within SA we can help keep cricket the #1 sport in the state. Thanks to SACA for their forward thinking in giving players the chance to love the game in a new way and improve their skills; they have been very supportive of what we are all trying to achieve. This is the IPL for amateurs and kids, and you can see from BPL01 that they have a great time playing it.”

Quote attributable to SACA President Andrew Sinclair

“SACA is supportive of new ideas that encourage participation in cricket and meeting new teammates.”

Quote attributable to Joel Hamilton, co-founder of the Australian Premier League

“On the back of a successful Brisbane Premier League we are really excited to expand the concept into South Australia (SA). The major takeaway from Queensland players was that they loved the opportunity to showcase their skills and talent in a competition before their season started. We’ve brought something new to the Australian cricket landscape for junior boys, girls and seniors so they can play more cricket, if they want to, and have fun.”

Notes to the Editor

The Australian Premier League is backed by former Australian & Queensland legend Ian Healy AO, former England A captain, author, presenter and commentator Mark Nicholas, healthcare entrepreneurs and cofounders of Icon Cancer Group, Epic Pharmacy Group and the Epic Good Foundation Stuart Giles and Cathie Reid AM, co-founders of the Australian Cricket Institute (ACI) Joel Hamilton and Nick Fitzpatrick, CEO of the National Premier League (NPL) in South Africa Ziyaad Desai and Francois Bruyns.

The Australian Premier League is an evolution of the 12-year success of the NPL competition which has resulted in three successful leagues, 25 franchises and over 2,000 players participating. High profile franchise owners in Cape Town include former South African cricketers Gary Kirsten, JP Duminy, Vernon
Philander, Ashwell Prince and Paul Adams. The NPL also attracts national and first class players bringing unrivalled excitement and competitiveness to thousands of cricketers annually.

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