SA cricket goes global as world awaits T20 an­nounce­ment

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - LUN­GANI ZAMA

TO­DAY is a big day in South African cricket.

To­day is the day that will re­veal much, as the T20 Global League fi­nally puts its cards on the ta­ble.

To­day the own­ers of the eight fran­chise teams will be an­nounced, and things will start to take shape.

The set­ting for this big re­veal is in­trigu­ing in it­self, as Cricket South Africa (CSA) have opted to take the show to Lon­don.

Not Johannesburg, un­der the Sand­ton lights. Not un­der the moun­tain in Cape Town.

There are many pos­si­ble rea­sons for choos­ing this cen­tre of the world for this event, one of them be­ing that most of the crick­et­ing world’s me­dia just hap­pens to be in town.

The other rea­son may well be that most of the mooted own­ers find the com­mute from Dubai, In­dia and wher­ever else they hail from a bit eas­ier.

It’s a new dawn, and one that has been met with quiet in­trigue in most press boxes.

T20 cricket has be­come the big­gest money spin­ner in the sport, and lives and ca­reers have been changed by its pres­ence.

South Africa, nat­u­rally, wants a piece of this cake. CSA has been slower on the up­take than most, but later is bet­ter than never. In the crick­et­ing world, there is still a place for South Africa to po­si­tion it­self at the end of the year, and squeeze in along­side Aus­tralia’s Big Bash and try its luck.

It will be fas­ci­nat­ing to see just who has bought into this new ven­ture – and there are ru­mours that a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of in­ter­est is from In­dia.

That makes sense, with the likes of the Kolkata Knight Rid­ers’ own­ers lik­ing the thought of hav­ing fran­chises around the world, and call­ing the world’s big­gest names their em­ploy­ees.

In this world, there are men will­ing to pay con­sid­er­ably for the priv­i­lege of hav­ing an AB de Vil­liers, or a Kag­iso Rabada on the pay­roll.

It prom­ises to be an in­trigu­ing day, and the mar­quee play­ers, the likes of Bren­don McCul­lum, Kevin Pi­etersen, and the Proteas’ stars will be there, too, ush­er­ing in a new era for South African cricket.

The world will watch on, as the T20 land­scape changes once more.

These are in­ter­est­ing times but, as the ICC Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy – won yes­ter­day by Pak­istan – has shown, a tour­na­ment done right al­ways finds favour with the masses.

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