Sunfoil Series

The Sunfoil Series is the main domestic first class cricket competition in South Africa, first contested in 1889-90. From 1990-91 it became known as the Castle Cup, from 1996-97 as the Supersport Series and from 2012-13 by The Sunfoil series. The Highveld Lions have won the title the most times.

Current teams

Cape CobrasWestern Cape
Knights*Free State & Northern Cape
LionsCentral Gauteng & North West
TitansNorthern and eastern Gauteng
WarriorsEastern Cape

Knights were known as the Eagles prior to the 2010-11 season.

Current points System

Teams are awarded points based on the result of the match as follows:
In addition, teams earn bonus points based on their performance in the first 100 overs of each team's first innings:
A points system of this basic structure was first introduced in 1971-72, and has been used in almost all seasons since; the exact points values used today were first introduced in the 2017-18 season.


Early Years

Cricket in South Africa was established by the British, and the first tour by a side from England took place in 1888-89. The following summer, the Currie Cup was established as a domestic competition. The trophy was donated by and named after Sir Donald Currie. An earlier competition, the Champion Bat Tournament, was established in 1876 and played on five occasions, generally between towns from the major settlements in the Cape. Only the final edition of the Champion Bat was accorded first-class status, contested by Eastern Province, Griqualand West, and Western Province during the 1890–91 season.
The inaugural competition, in 1889–90, consisted of a single match between Kimberley and Transvaal. In this match, Bernard Tancred, for Kimberley and Monty Bowden, for Transvaal, both in the second innings, scored the first centuries in Currie Cup cricket. In the first innings of the same match, George Glover took 6/50 for Kimberley. The following season saw a rematch between Kimberley and Transvaal; Charlie Finlason scored 154* for Kimberley, and John Piton took 13/204 for Transvaal in the match. Each team won one of these initial two encounters.
Between then and the First World War, the competition expanded. Kimberley and Transvaal were joined by Western Province, Natal, Eastern Province, Border and Orange Free State — although not all of these teams competed in every season after they were established. Rhodesia and South Western Districts also competed on a once-off basis in the 1904-05 season.
The Currie Cup was not contested every year, and a total of fourteen seasons were contested between inception and the First World War. Aside from a recess during the Boer War, typically seasons were not held when the English team was touring. The tournament took on several different formats, including a knock-out tournament, and a round robin followed by a challenge final against the previous year's winner; but in 1906-07, a round robin league format was established, which would be unchanged until 1982-83.

Between the wars

First class cricket recommenced after the war in the 1920-21 season. The series continued to be held roughly two out of every three years, being cancelled during seasons which coincided with test tours. After the 1925–26, all seven provincial teams featured in every season. They were joined temporarily by Rhodesia, and permanently by North Eastern Transvaal in 1937-38, which was the final season before World War II. In all, eleven seasons were played between the wars.

World War II to Isolation

After an eight-year hiatus, the Currie Cup restarted in 1946-47 with all eight provincial teams and Rhodesia, who would now feature permanently.
In 1951-52, the competition adopted a two-tiered structure, which was retained in some format until 1999-2000. From its inception until South Africa's international isolation in 1971, a promotion/relegation structure linked the two tiers, with the winner of the lower division generally replacing the last placed team from the top division — although this was not adhered to every season. The top division generally consisted of four or five teams.
During this time, the stronger provinces began to field a 'B' team in the lower division. Transvaal B was the first to appear, followed by Natal B. These B-teams were not promoted to the top division when they won the lower competition.
Since the 1965-66 season, the Currie Cup has been contested every year, and was no longer suspended during international tours.

Isolation - the 1970s

Domestic cricket in South Africa reached its peak during the years of isolation in the 1970s and 1980s. With standards exceptionally high, spectators came in their thousands to watch Currie Cup cricket.
The two-division format was retained, but promotion/relegation was abandoned, and from 1971–72, the top division remained constant with five teams: Transvaal, Natal, Eastern Province, Western Province and Rhodesia. The second division expanded with more B-teams: Western Province B joining in 1975-76, and Eastern Province B and Rhodesia B joining in 1977-78.
During the 1970s, the second division became a separate competition from the Currie Cup, known initially as the Castle Bowl. In 1971-72, North Eastern Transvaal became known as Northern Transvaal.

Isolation and restoration - the 1980s and 1990s

Through the 1980s and 1990s, the weaker provincial teams began to gradually migrate back from the Bowl competition to the Currie Cup. At the same time, those provinces' B-teams began to contest the Bowl, which gradually turned the Bowl entirely into a Currie Cup seconds competition. By 1996-97, the Bowl had split into a two-tier competition ; by 1999-2000, all stand-alone provincial teams had returned to the Currie Cup, and the Bowl was stripped of first-class status entirely.
Northern Transvaal was the first team to return to the Currie Cup, in 1979-80; that same year was the final year for Rhodesia, which did not participate following the country's independence as Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom. Orange Free State returned to the Currie Cup in 1985-86. Border returned permanently in 1991-92. Griqualand West returned in 1996-97. In addition, three new provincial teams entered during this time: Boland, who entered the Bowl in 1980-81, and entered the Cup in 1993-94; and Eastern Transvaal and Western Transvaal, who entered the Bowl in 1991-92, and were the last two teams promoted to the top level in 1999-2000 before the Bowl concluded.
During the same time, the Bowl competition was joined by Northern Transvaal B, Orange Free State B, Border B and Boland B and Griqualand West B, as well as a Zimbabwean Board XI and Namibia cricket team.
During the 1990s, as South Africa underwent political changes, several teams changed their names to adapt: Orange Free State became Free State ; Eastern Transvaal became Easterns ; Western Transvaal became North West ; Transvaal became Gauteng ; Northern Transvaal became Northerns ; and Natal became KwaZulu-Natal. The competition itself also changed its name for commercial reasons, becoming the Castle Cup in 1990-91, and then the SuperSport Series in 1996-97.
During this era, the format of the competition changed several times. In 1982-83, a final was played between the top two teams; this was expanded to a four-team knock-out in 1983-84, and contracted to a three-team knock-out in 1985-86. In 1987-88, the league was split into two pools with a single final between the pool winners. In 1990-91, the league returned to a single pool with no final. The final returned in 1998-99. Then, with eleven teams from 1999–2000, the league adopted a format similar to the 1999 Cricket World Cup, with a super eight or super six round before a single final.
The most notable feature of this era was the end of the dominance of Transvaal, Natal and Western Province. Prior to the 1988-89 season, the three teams had amongst them won 59 of the 60 Currie Cups contested — the only exception being Kimberley's win in the second tournament in 1890-91, won based on the result of a single game against Transvaal. In 1988-89, Eastern Province finally broke the dominance when it beat Transvaal in the final. Orange Free State would win its first championship in the 1990s, and Easterns would also win a championship in the 2000s.

Current Era

In 2004-05, the format of South African domestic cricket was changed entirely. The eleven provincial teams were rationalised into six new teams: Western Province and Boland merged to form the Cape Cobras; Griqualand West and Free State formed the Eagles ; Eastern Province and Border became the Warriors; North West and Gauteng became the Lions; Northerns and Easterns became the Titans; and KwaZulu-Natal became the Dolphins. These changes occurred across limited overs cricket as well as first class cricket.
The format of the new competition is a double-round robin. In its first two seasons, the top two contested a final to determine the winner, but both finals finished in draws and the titles were shared. The final was abandoned in 2006-07, and the title is awarded solely on regular season record.
The eleven provincial Currie Cup teams, as well as South Western Districts, KwaZulu-Natal Inland and Namibia, continue to compete separately in the South African Airways Provincial Three-Day Challenge, which remains a first-class competition, despite no longer being the top level of red-ball cricket in South Africa.


*Numbers in parentheses count outright championships only.


Combined Team Era

Currie Cup - Provincial Era

Note: Transvaal B and South West Districts are not shown in the table. Each contested only one season in the top division, and neither finished in the top two.

Currie Cup Second Division and Bowl Competition

Note: Includes only Currie Cup lower division and Bowl seasons with full first-class status.
Note: To minimise the size of the table, teams which contested five or fewer seasons without winning or placing second are not shown. These teams were: Orange Free State B/Free State B, Rhodesia B/Zimbabwe-Rhodesia B, Griqualand West B, Zimbabwe Board XI, Border B and Boland B.

Notable performances

Two Double centuries in a season
Five centuries in successive innings
Five centuries in six innings
Five wickets in six balls
Four wickets with consecutive balls
Ten wickets in an innings
Fifteen wickets in a match
A 100 runs and 10 wickets in a match
Ten wicketkeeping dismissals in a match
7000 Runs in a career

12409Graeme Pollock15735
11835Peter Kirsten16229
11307Jimmy Cook16332
8487Kepler Wessels11622
7981Henry Fotheringham13219
7551Barry Richards7926

800 Runs in a season

1947-48864Dudley Nourse8
1971-721089Barry Richards8
1972-731064Barry Richards8
1973-74898Barry Richards8
1975-76868Barry Richards8
1975-76810Graeme Pollock8
1976-77967Peter Kirsten8
1978-79961Graeme Pollock8
1987-88878Allan Lamb6
1988-89846Ken McEwan8
1990-91994Mandy Yachad10
1996-97815Louis Koen8
1997-98866H. D. Ackerman8
1997-98847Kepler Wessels8
1998-99938Boeta Dippenaar8
1998-99810Ken Rutherford8
1999-00818Ken Rutherford10
2001-02934Martin van Jaarsveld8
2003-041015Zander de Bruyn9
2004-05827Arno Jacobs10
2005-06893Hashim Amla11
2006-07828Vaughn van Jaarsveld10
2006-07817Henry Davids10
2008-09835Imraan Khan10
2008-09809Ashwell Prince9
2009-101189Rilee Rossouw10
2009-101060Dean Elgar10
2009-101013Stephen Cook10
2010-11954Jacques Rudolph10
2011-12816Alviro Petersen10
2013-14933Stiaan van Zyl10
2013-14927Justin Ontong10
2013-14882David White10
2014-15889Stephen Cook10
2014-15852Colin Ingram10
2015-161,126Heino Kuhn10
2016-17883Colin Ackermann10

Highest Individual Scores

390Stephen Cook2009-10
337Daryll Cullinan1993-94
319Rilee Rossouw2009-10
294Allan Lamb1987-88
279Raymond Gripper1967-68
277*Eric Rowan1950-51
271*Jack Cheetham1950-51
271Peter Kirsten1993-94
266*Zander de Bruyn2003-04
265*Jack Siedle1929-30
261*Stephen Steyn1929-31
260Dudley Nourse1936-37

300 Wickets in a career

572Vintcent van der Bijl109
365Garth Le Roux83
347Kenny Watson108
323Rupert Hanley82
319Denys Hobson90
317John Waddington59

50 Wickets in a season

52Alfred Hall1926-276
53John Waddington1952-536
55Jackie Botten1958-596
50Mike Procter1972-738
59Mike Procter1976-778
53Garth Le Roux1977-788
54Vintcent van der Bijl1980-818
52Alan Kourie1980-818
57Vintcent van der Bijl1981-828
50Pienaar Anker1981-827
58Sylvester Clarke1984-8510
51Eric Simons1984-8510
50Corrie van Zyl1984-856
50Alan Kourie1984-8510
54Steven Jack1990-9110
56Vasbert Drakes1998-998
60Vasbert Drakes1999-0010
52Steve Elworthy2001-028
54Ryan McLaren2006-0710
55Dillon du Preez2007-0810
54Monde Zondeki2007-0810
54Monde Zondeki2007-0810
52Duanne Olivier2016-178

All-Round Play 3000 Runs and 300 Wickets

Eddie Barlow1227881317152
Clive Rice1647714396112
Mike Procter110540547198
Alan Kourie1073962378124
Omar Henry1033890375109

All-Round double, 400 Runs and 40 Wickets in a season

1971-72Mike Procter49544
1972-73Mike Procter47450
1972-73Eddie Barlow48840
1979-80Mike Procter42045
1979-80Clive Rice40941


PlayerMatchesDismissalsRuns10Dis match40Dis season
Ray Jennings137538362232
Richie Ryall111388130112
Dave Richardson11934442762
Noel Day10133744821