Two South African businessmen, two IPL franchises, two PSL franchises, and representatives from Hong Kong and Dubai were unveiled as the owners of the eight teams in South Africa’s T20 Global League. The owners, the cities and their marquee players were unveiled at an event in London on Monday.
Durban, Benoni, Pretoria, Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth will each host a franchise, which left no room for the likes of Kimberley, East London and Potchefstroom, who host franchise cricket. The Stellenbosch franchise will likely play at Boland Park in Paarl.
International buyers own three-quarters of the franchises with the biggest name being Shah Rukh Khan. The Bollywood superstar added to his Knight Riders brand with the purchase of the Cape Town franchise to add to teams in Kolkata and Trinidad. There was also a second IPL influence. The Delhi Daredevils’ holding company GMR sports bought the Johannesburg franchise.
The two South African-owned franchises are based in Pretoria and Stellenbosch and run by South African businessman Osman Osman, who owns a lifestyle brand, and Brimstone, a company owned by Mushtaq Brey.
Two PSL owners, Fawad Rana of the Lahore Qalandar, and Javed Afridi from the Peshawar Zalmi, bought franchises in Durban and Benoni respectively while the Bloemfontein franchise was bought by Hong-Kong’s Sushil Kumar and the Port Elizabeth team by Dubai’s Ajay Sethi. Both have previous involvement in cricket, Kumar owns a Hong Kong franchise while Sethi is involved at Channel 2 in the UAE.
CSA also unveiled eight ambassadors, all former South African national players: Graeme Smith, Andrew Hall, Ashwell Prince, Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Adams, Allan Donald, Andrew Hudson and Paul Harris.
Despite no Indian players being available for the tournament, its overlap with the BPL, the chances of Australian players being scant given the clash with their summer and the ECB’s refusal for Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy to attend the launch, CSA president Chris Nenzani was hopeful the competition would receive global support.
“We thank all other cricket boards and we hope that they will support this venture in the manner that we have helped and supported their leagues. We hope they will help us to make it a success,” he said.
More than 400 players have registered their interest with a draft scheduled for August. (ESPNCricinfo)
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent