Will CSA get it right this time?
IT’S BEEN almost a year since Cricket South Africa (CSA) pulled the plug on the inaugural T20 Global League, but after much drama, compensation and legalities, cricket’s governing body has given the green light for the new tournament to go ahead.
The official start date is set for November9, with the final to be staged on December 16
– the identical scheduled date of last year’s final. It is commendable that CSA has committed to putting on a show, but there remains a feeling that this tournament is doomed to failure.
Instead of the eight privately owned franchises that were set to compete in the Global League T20, the tournament has been trimmed to six teams.
Equally, nothing has been stated in regards to how the previous owners, who were angered over the make-up of the new competition, are going to be incorporated.
No stadium venues have been decided, either, which leaves precious little time for the teams competing to build up a new fan base or generate any meaningful marketing campaigns around their teams.
Even more disconcerting remains the lack of a blue-chip headline sponsor for the tournament, while no broadcast deal – the lifeblood of any competition – has been negotiated. Although SuperSport remains the frontrunner, the fact that the pay channel reneged on an equity deal with CSA recently regarding the tournament does not bode well.
Most importantly though, CSA has yet to consult the players – the primary role-players – about their involvement.
The Proteas are also on tour in Australia during November, where they will play three ODIs and a T20 International that will form a major part of the national team’s 2019 World Cup preparation.
This situation will have a significant impact on the competition as it will immediately rob the tournament of the star quality that makes the other T20 leagues around the world so successful.
CSA, and particularly its new chief executive, Thabang Moroe, will be under the microscope over the coming weeks to prove that the organisation has not made yet another grave mistake, especially at a critical time when major sponsors such as Sunfoil have chosen to take their business elsewhere.