Give EL more top-class fare
THE aborted T20 Global League is set to be resurrected this year. This week Cricket SA named the venues that will host the competition next month. Hopefully the problems dogging the initiative proposed last year by former chief executive Haroon Lorgat will be resolved.
The idea for such a tournament, much like the India Premier League with all its razzmatazz and swashbuckling batting displays by the world’s top cricket stars, was well received by the cricket fraternity.
It was felt that if there was buy-in from all the stakeholders – the overseas-based players, corporate world and the fans – it was bound to be a winner.
Pity, it did not pan out like that when CSA found they bit off more than they could chew as the cost projections were out of sync with their calculations and it was mothballed.
Lorgat did not factor in a number of issues relating to franchise owners, compensation for players, the TV rights and the publicity costs involved.
Under new CEO Thabang Moroe the league will be back in a revamped form and expected to blast-off next month.
The short form of the sport has been widely embraced by the fans who enjoy its short duration and explosive finishes. This week the T20 between the Proteas and Zimbabwe at East London’s Buffalo Park illustrated that specifically.
If anything it shows that people in this neck of the woods love their cricket.
But here’s a thing. The Global League will be played at six venues including Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Park and yet again no Buffalo Park.
East London loses out again. This past cricket season, we only had two internationals – Bangladesh and Zimbabwe – staged here.
The argument about venue size, population and accommodation costs can no longer be inhibitive factors and simply does not wash any longer.
Turnout for Warriors’ matches proves there is a hunger for competitive cricket. Over the years CSA advocated the need to grow the sport in this province. It is the home of two of the country’s finest products – fast bowler Makhaya Ntini and wicket-keeper Mark Boucher.
The youngsters of Nomandi Primary School from Port St Johns were part of the Proteas buildup to the Zimbabwe clash. Their principal Joseph Nqasa put it thus: “it was wonderful and one (experience) they will never ever forget”.
That should give CSA food for thought and perhaps it can finally do right by Buffalo Park.
The league will be played at six venues including Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Park and yet again no Buffalo Park