Cricket: South Africa re-launches T20 league

Cricket South Africa on Wednesday started a recruitment process for a re-launched Twenty20 league which will run from November 9 until December 16.

Foreign and local players have been invited to apply to play in the SA T20 League, which will be staged a year after an aborted Global T20 League, which cost the South African governing body an estimated US$14 million (11.9m euros), including compensation paid to 144 contracted players.

The new league will be played by six teams, with venues to be decided after a bidding process.

Each team will have 16 players, with a minimum of three and maximum of four overseas players. South Africans who have signed Kolpak contracts in England, making them ineligible to play for South Africa, are classed as overseas players. There will be a league phase of 30 matches, followed by an eliminator play-off and a final.

The deadline for player applications is October 2 and a draft will be held on October 17.

The planned Global league was beset by problems and led to the axeing of former chief executive Haroon Lorgat in September 2017, with no television deal or sponsorship in place. The tournament was called off in October 2017, three weeks before it was due to start.

The eight franchises in the Global league were privately owned and legal action may still be possible from owners who were unhappy about the way their involvement was cancelled.

CSA have reached an agreement with SABC, the public broadcaster, to televise the matches and provide radio coverage. The announcement of a three-year deal came just over a month after subscription channel SuperSport withdrew from a joint venture with CSA in which SuperSport would have had a 49 percent stake in the league.

Details of how the league will be funded have yet to be announced but CSA stated that players would be centrally contracted by the league. DM


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