Will CSA get it right this time?

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - OPINION -

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.

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