R1,000,0000 shared by ten South Africans

Ten members of the crowd at the Ram Slam T20 tournament in South Africa have claimed a share in the overall prize money of R1,000,000 for successfully completing one-handed catches of sixes that had been hit their way.

In this file photo, Titans celebrate a wicket at the Champions League Twenty20 in 2009. Titans are the winners of the recently concluded Ram Slam T20.   -  Vivek Bendre

Ten South African cricket fans shared a million-rand prize after catching one-hand sixes in the recently concluded domestic cricket tournament — The Ram Slam T20.

Sponsors had promised the huge prize to any in the crowd who caught a sixer one-handed, little realising that there would be as many as ten fans claiming the bounty. In the first two weeks of the six-week tournament, nobody caught any of the balls hit out of the field, but by the time the final arrived, nine winners had been invited to watch the game and receive their prize of just over R100,000 each.

R100,00 prize money for each

But the winners saw their prize evened out to exactly R100,000 after 22-year-old technician Willem van der Merwe became the tenth and final winner. Amateur all-rounder Van der Merwe confessed after the game that his hand had been sore for well over 30 minutes after taking the catch.

“I didn’t even think the ball was coming my way until the very last second, then I calmly told myself ‘one hand’ I haven’t played club cricket for two years, but being an all-rounder helped in securing the catch as it certainly wasn’t an easy one,” he said. The other nine winners high-fived Willem and welcomed him into their winners’ hospitality circle, whilst Willem jokingly apologised to them for stealing some of their winnings.

A number of top players from across the globe had joined the provincial franchise teams who vied in the tournament. “The Ram Slam T20 competition is now a world-class brand and competes favourably with other leagues around the world,” said Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat.