Cricket South Africa postpone T20 Global League to next year
Owing to major logistical issues, the South African T20 tournament (T20 Global League) has been postponed, which leaves a six-week gap in the peak summer season.Updated: Oct 10, 2017 22:23 IST
Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Tuesday the postponement of the inaugural edition of their T20 Global League (T20GL) to November 2018, citing major logistical issues such as failure to seal a broadcast deal and finding a title sponsor.
“Following a Cricket South Africa (CSA) and T20 Global League board meeting today and in consultation with franchise owners, the inaugural T20 Global League has been postponed to November 2018,” CSA informed in a press release.
Thabang Moroe, the acting CEO of the South African cricket governing body said: “We have not come to this decision lightly. Having discussed it with all our stakeholders including the franchise owners, we believe that the interest of the league should be our first priority. We have re-assessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well.”
Moroe added the T20 Global League needs to be made stronger before it is launched. “We will regroup and come back stronger and better,” he said.
The release said that the franchise owners have agreed with CSA over this decision.
“Having discussed it with Mr. Moroe and Mr. Nenzani, we have arrived at a unanimous decision to defer the inaugural edition to next year. We believe it is in the best interest of the tournament to do so,” said Osman Osman from the Pretoria Mavericks.
CSA’s decision leaves a six-week gap in the peak summer season with no cricket in South Africa, as a separate window was created for the T20GL 2017.
The T20 Global League was set to begin on November 3, but with less than a month left for its start, CSA was already under pressure after it was revealed that the board was set to suffer heavy financial losses in the first edition.
According to ESPNCricinfo, Moroe had admitted last week that the cricket governing body in South Africa was set to lose $25 million with the first edition of the T20 Global League. The amount was close to half of CSA’s cash reserves.
As far as the broadcast deal was concerned, CSA was believed to have been inking one with SuperSport, but once again, the deal was of far lesser amount than what the body anticipated.
The problems compounded when CSA and its former CEO Haroon Lorgat parted ways. The CSA is said to have been dissatisfied with the way Lorgat was managing the organisation of the T20 Global League (GLT20).
However, the report added that one of the franchise owners claimed that due to Lorgat’s exit, the league was facing ‘much bigger challenges’. The owner said, “When you know that something is not right then you should not do it. We are half-prepared and it will be a bigger disaster if we go this way.”
While there is no ‘indication’ of any of the owners leaving the tournament (seven of them being overseas owners), the report said that the time frame was too short for the CSA and the owners to organise the T20GL 2017 the way they wanted.