Cricket South Africa (CSA) declared an Indian Premier League like international Twenty20 tournament further on this year. It is said to feature some of the country’s top players and international stars.
Partnering with South African television company SuperSport, Thabang Moroe, CSA acting chief executive says this would be “the biggest in the history of South African domestic cricket.”
Confirming the development, Moroe stated, “CSA is delighted to announce this equity partnership with our long-term broadcast partners, SuperSport. We have put the problems we experienced with the proposed Global T20 League behind us and look forward to hosting the new competition (which will be named later). This event will create wonderful opportunities for local players (including current Proteas and up and coming youngsters) to hone their white-ball skills.”
SuperSport chief executive Gideon Khobane also expressed satisfaction and said, “CSA has been an outstanding partner of SuperSport’s for many years. This agreement sees our relationship taken to the next level, where we will pool our mutual resources in a partnership which will create high-quality cricket and provide entertaining content for cricket fans locally and broadcast viewers both domestically and globally.”
“To have Proteas and international stars competing together with local talent will improve the quality of T20 cricket produced by South Africa,” Cricbuzz quoted him saying.
This is their second attempt at something similar to their previous idea of staging the T20 Global League collapsed due to the fall-out between the then CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat and the board. He is said to have departed because no television deal or major sponsors were ready to sign onto the project.
The Global League was to be a city-based franchise with seven to eight teams, each owned by a foreign owner. For example, Shah Rukh Khan-owned the Cape Town Team while the Johannesburg Team was owned by the GMR group, who also owns the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.
According to Moroe, however, the owners have been refunded their deposits after the sudden cancellation. This loss cost the CSA around 180 million rands (i.e. about 13.7 million dollars). The association had to compensate for almost 144 players who had been signed for the tournament.
This new league is said to replace the Global T20, however, but will not include any private ownership after their disastrous walk down that path the last time. This will be comparatively shorter due to previous commitments made by the South African cricket team. It is said to start after November 17th, right after the team finishes three One Day Internationals and a T20 international in Australia.
“The announcement of a new T20 competition is positive news and will be widely welcomed by the players,” said SACA chief executive, Tony Irish. “The fact that a broadcast deal has already been secured through arrangements with SuperSport to take this event to fans in South Africa and globally, is further good news. Although we are not yet privy to the details of the deal or exactly how the competition is to be structured, it is hoped that the upfront involvement of SuperSport will ensure its sustainability and promote its visibility.”