Lor­gat ‘flab­ber­gasted’ by Global League ru­mours

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - LUNGANI ZAMA

CRICKET South Africa CEO Ha­roon Lor­gat, , slammed what he called ‘mis­chief- mak­ing’ amongst cer­tain mem­bers of the me­dia, as spec­u­la­tion around the in­au­gu­ral T20 Global League con­tin­ues to gather mo­men­tum, both good and bad.

“I am flab­ber­gasted by those re­ports, and shocked at the cal­i­bre of jour­nal­ism,” Lor­gat said at a press gath­er­ing for the Dur­ban fran­chise on Fri­day.

Re­ports of own­er­ship con­cerns and ques­tions of the trans­parency of the com­pe­ti­tion have been rife, but Lor­gat main­tained that ev­ery­thing is on track.

“You saw the Dur­ban own­ers here to­day, and you have seen the other two fran­chises. In the next few weeks, the oth­ers will be re­vealed. There are a mis­chief-mak­ers out there.”

Lor­gat did con­cede there had been late com­pli­ca­tions with the own­er­ship of the Stel­len­bosch fran­chise, with the ini­tial fran­chise hold­ers, Brim­stone, hav­ing pulled out.

“Brim­stone have al­ways said they do not want to be a ma­jor­ity owner. They wanted to lead a con­sor­tium, and as of last night (Thurs­day), they have pulled out,” Lor­gat ex­plained.

“We had enough bid­ders ini­tially, and we are turn­ing back to that list. We des­per- ately want South African own­er­ship, but maybe they don’t quite share the vi­sion, and un­der­stand the busi­ness model,” Lor­gat ex­panded on the for­eign-own­er­ship bias.

“I have no doubt that we will have an­other owner (for Stel­len­bosch), but it may well be for­eign-based own­ers again.”

Re­flect­ing on the ex­cite­ment around the tour­na­ment, Lor­gat said that they had al­ready been ap­proached by sev­eral prospec­tive part­ners.

“Once we an­nounced the two IPL fran­chises and two PSL fran­chises own­ing teams in this com­pe­ti­tion, the level of in­ter­est was as­ton­ish­ing,” he re­vealed.

While nei­ther Lor­gat nor Fawad Rana, the Dur­ban Qa­lan­ders owner, could con­firm if there would be Pak­istani play­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion, both said the newly- crowned Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy win­ners would be a wel­come ad­di­tion.

“We do not dic­tate who must be cho­sen, be­cause that is down to in­di­vid­ual fran­chises and their needs. But, we are ac­tu­ally in­creas­ing the num­ber of for­eign play­ers from four to five in each fran­chise, and the squads will go to 18 play­ers,” Lor­gat said.

The next step on the road to the even­tual start of the tour­na­ment in early Novem­ber is the player draft, which will now be in the last week­end of Au­gust.

“When we sat down with the own­ers in Dubai re­cently, sev­eral of them re­quested an ex­tra week, just to get them­selves sorted in terms of what they want from the draft.”

The T20 Global League is sched­uled to start on 3 Novem­ber, with the fi­nal on 16 De­cem­ber, at The Wan­der­ers.

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