MUMBAI: After making a failed attempt to launch a Twenty20 league back in 2017 and then running a short-lived league for two years, Cricket South Africa (CSA) is making another effort. It has signed an agreement with SuperSport to form a new company that will manage a new T20 competition.
The plan is to hold the league in January 2023. It will then become the window for the league which will comprise six privately-owned franchises playing each other in a double round before the top three sides move to the play-off stages.
SuperSport is CSA's domestic broadcast partner. It is worth noting that due to a dispute between CSA and Supersport CSA was unable to launch a proposed Global T20 League in 2017 and had to abandon plans altogether.
CSA then launched the Mzansi Super League in 2018. CSA bore the cost of the league. The broadcast rights fee it got from the SABC was minimal. The MSL featured eight teams and ran for two years.
“We are excited by the formation of something this fresh and invigorating, which also offers the opportunity for private investment into the franchises. CSA has already received interest from several potential local and international investors” said CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki.
Moseki emphasised that this is an entirely new event, adding that South Africa has a rich crop of talent who would benefit from exposure through a franchise league. He said that a sustainable business model had been created for both the league and the teams, with a healthy salary bill to attract the very best local and international players.
The league also represents a fresh injection of funds into the sport in SA which will help grow the game. Modelled along the lines of T20 events worldwide, the focus will be on all-action cricket sportainment.
SuperSport CEO Marc Jury said, “We are delighted to invest in a product that will change the face of South African cricket. There is an early-year gap in the calendar, so the timing is ideal.”
SuperSport has committed to live broadcast of all the matches and will also produce the world feed for the international television market.