Five years ago, when Cricket South Africa (CSA) floated the idea of the Global T20 League, it drew investors from across the globe. The proposed tournament saw several franchises from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and Pakistan Super League (PSL) owning their teams, but in the end, the league never really took off.
A few years later, CSA launched the Mzansi Super League, but it failed to create the buzz that a T20 league normally does. But putting aside the apprehensions, the CSA gets ready with the auction of its SAT20 league on Monday, with top investors from India - who all own IPL franchises - owning the teams.
With all the six teams being owned by the IPL franchises, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which has the policy of not allowing Indian cricketers to feature in overseas leagues, has reiterated that it won’t allow any Indian players or support staff to be part of these overseas leagues.
But, the franchises have ensured that they get their bases covered for the inaugural edition of the SAT20 league, which is scheduled to be held in January-February next year.
Know the teams
The Reliance Industries-owned Mumbai Indians, which remains one of the most successful franchises in the IPL, has fielded its team - MI Cape Town - in the tournament, with Simon Katich being the head coach and Hashim Amla joining as the batting coach.
The team has already signed up Kagiso Rabada, Dewald Brevis, Rashid Khan, Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone ahead of the auction and needs to ensure that it picks a solid line-up from the auction.
Similarly, RP-Sanjiv Goenka owned Durban Super Giants, which owns the Lucknow franchise in the IPL, has roped in Quinton de Kock, Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, Reece Topley and Prenelan Subrayen ahead of the auction.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the most celebrated franchises in the IPL, has acquired the Johannesburg Super Kings in the South African league.
Even though it will not be able to engage Mahendra Singh Dhoni in any capacity, the team management has maintained the CSK flavour by roping in Stephen Fleming as the coach of the Johannesburg outfit. After acquiring the franchise, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan had told Sportstar that this move will help CSK in having a global footprint.
Cashing in on the CSK factor, the franchise has named Faf du Plessis, who featured for the IPL franchise for a while, as the captain.
It also included CSK players Moeen Ali, Maheesh Theekshana in the squad along with Romario Shephard and Gerald Coetzee.
Rajasthan Royals, which already own teams in the IPL and Caribbean Premier League, has acquired the Paarl Royals franchise. David Miller will be leading the pack, while the franchise has already roped in Corbin Bosch, Jos Buttler, Obed McCoy.
The other two teams Pretoria Capitals (owned by the promoters of Delhi Capitals) and Sunrisers Eastern Cape (owned by Sunrisers Hyderabad) have also got their bases covered with Anrich Nortje and Migael Pretorius joining the Capitals and Aiden Markram and Ottniel Baartman being roped in by the Sunrisers.
Some of the franchise bosses Sportstar spoke to, admitted that the presence of some of their core IPL players will eventually help in building the brand in an overseas league.
“Having players from your original set up eventually helps the team plan things better,” a franchise official said.
While the franchises are excited about a new beginning, player availability could be an issue in some cases as the SAT20 will be held in the same period as the ILT20, BBL and the Bangladesh Premier League.
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