The Burger King Super Smash, or just the Super Smash is the annual integrated domestic T20 competition in New Zealand for both men and women. It opened the curtains on 22nd December and is expected to go on till February next year with the Final being played on 17th of February. A total of 32 matches will be played in that entire time-period.
The 2018-19 Super Smash will be the 14th edition of the annual T20 tournament.
Little known fact, but the Super Smash is one of the earliest domestic T20 tournaments to have been originated. The tournament was inaugurated all the way back in 2005-06. With the league having low foreign player slots in team and passive broadcasting, the Super Smash has found relatively less exposure compared to other huge domestic T20 competitions such as the IPL and the Big Bash League.
The women’s competition was introduced in 2007, but was played separately from the men’s tournament. In the 2018-19 season, the men’s and women’s competitions have been combined under a single sponsor for the first time and will be played simultaneously.
The league has also been renamed several times, with each sponsor exercising their naming rights. The league was New Zealand Twenty20 Competition in the inaugural season. The next two seasons it was called the State Twenty20, before being renamed again as HRV Cup/Twenty20 which stayed for five seasons until the 2013-14 season. The next two seasons it was named the Georgie Pie Super Smash. In the 2016-17 season, it was called the McDonald’s Super Smash before arriving at the current name of Burger King Super Smash in the 2017-18 season.
The Super Smash shares the same tournament structure with all major domestic T20 tournaments all over the globe. Each team will play two matches with every other team, one at home and one away. The top three teams in the table qualify for the playoffs, after all matches have been played. The playoffs are followed by the ‘Preliminary Final’ and the Final.
In the women’s competition, the same tournament structure is followed however only two teams qualify from the group table who directly play in the Final. No playoffs take place.
A total of six teams feature in the tournament, representing different regions across New Zealand. The franchises have a cap of two foreign players in the team. The six men’s teams are - Auckland Aces, Canterbury Kings, Central Stags, Northern Knights, Otago Volts, and Wellington Firebirds. The defending champions are Northern Knights who currently have two titles to their name.
The six women’s teams are - Auckland Hearts, Canterbury Magicians, Central Hinds, Northern Spirit, Otago Sparks, and Wellington Blaze. Wellington Blaze will be playing as the defending champions.
The home venues of the franchises are provided in the table below :-
|Auckland Aces/Hearts||Eden Park, Auckland|
|Canterbury Kings/Magicians||Hagley Oval, Christchurch|
|Central Stags/Hinds||Pukekura Park, New Plymouth|
|Northern Knights/Spirit||Seddon Park, Hamilton|
|Otago Volts/Sparks||University Oval, Dunedin|
|Wellington Firebirds/Blaze||Basin Reserve, Wellington|
Players to Watch Out For
All-rounder Mitchell Santner will be making his comeback after his long injury layoff, in the 2018-19 Super Smash. He missed out playing for the champion side in IPL 2018 and went on to miss international cricket for nine months. He will be playing for the Northern Knights. Also, Glenn Phillips (Auckland Aces) and Anton Devcich (Northern District Knights) will be raring to go. From the bowling attack, Blair Tickner is expected to do well for his team, Central Knights. In the foreign players, keep an eye out for Hampshire captain, James Vince (Auckland Aces).