Most South Africans set to miss T20 Global League

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

THERE IS NO guar­an­tee that Cricket South Africa’s much­pub­li­cised ‘T20 Global League’ tour­na­ment will be avail­able for view­ing by the ma­jor­ity of South Africans, with CSA keen on squeez­ing ev­ery penny it can out of broad­cast deals as­so­ci­ated with the event.

That means that if freeto-air broad­cast­ers like the SABC or e-TV can’t come up with the funds to show the com­pe­ti­tion, it will pri­mar­ily be broad­cast on pay-tv. Cricket SA’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Ha­roon Lor­gat ad­mit­ted no de­ci­sion had been made about whether the tour­na­ment, that starts in Novem­ber, will be shown on free-to-air plat­forms. “I must be hon­est, this is a com­mer­cial ven­ture. We would look to see who would bid the price that we need to achieve in or­der make the model work.” Cricket SA is in “sen­si­tive” ne­go­ti­a­tions with Su­perS­port, Lor­gat added.

The much-hyped tour­na­ment, which CSA hopes will be on par with sim­i­lar com­pe­ti­tions in In­dia, Aus­tralia and the Caribbean, has al­ready at­tracted in­ter­est from a num­ber of over­seas play­ers with Chris Gayle, Kevin Pi­etersen and Bren­don McCul­lum among a host of stars who’ve al­ready lent their names to the tour­na­ment.

Cricket SA is in the fi­nal stages of wrap­ping up own­er­ship agree­ments. The cur­rent short­list, which The Star un­der­stands is 16, will be cut to eight over the next fort­night and in­cludes for­eign and lo­cal bid­ders.

The own­ers and eight fran­chises will be un­veiled at an event in Lon­don on June 19. “It’s go­ing ac­cord­ing to plan,” said Lor­gat, “we’ve got the fi­nal rounds of pre­sen­ta­tions and in­ter­views and the de­ci­sion­mak­ing on the 5th ,6th and 8th of June.

“There’s a gap be­tween the 8th and the 19th – which is by de­sign – in case there’s a need to re-ne­go­ti­ate any­thing be­cause some­body’s still de­ter­mined on one par­tic­u­lar city and we may have too many for the one and we’re look­ing to con­vince some­body for an­other. There are con­tracts we have to en­ter into – which in­clude the fran­chise li­cence agree­ments – all of that we plan to do from now to the 19th.”

Al­though there will be no quota pol­icy in place for teams in the com­pe­ti­tion, part of the fran­chise agree­ment will in­clude clauses en­sur­ing prospec­tive own­ers ad­here to CSA’s “trans­for­ma­tion philoso­phies”.

“The ab­sence of tar­gets shouldn’t be read as some­thing that we won’t im­press upon the own­ers to sup­port us with,” said Lor­gat.

“We’ve got an eval­u­a­tion af­ter seven years at which point we will look at the team own­ers, see who is con­tribut­ing, who’s not, a num­ber of key per­for­mance ar­eas will be eval­u­ated and if there’s fail­ure on the part of our own­ers to sup­port our trans­for­ma­tion goals we will make that point.

“Ul­ti­mately there is pro­vi­sion to have a real hard dis­cus­sion with those own­ers (who don’t ful­fill the trans­for­ma­tion man­date).”

Lor­gat also an­nounced that CSA will in­vest R250mil­lion to up­grade the coun­try’s cricket sta­dia.

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