Dubai: Cricket South Africa announced the relaunch of their T20 league as owners of their aborted Global League geared up for a court battle. The Global League was called off in October 2017, three weeks before it was due to start.
Cricket South Africa yesterday had started a recruitment process for a relaunched Twenty20 league which will run from November 9 until December 16.
Speaking to Gulf News, Dubai-based Ajay Sethi, who owns the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars Port Elizabeth team in the T20 Global League, said: “We (owners) are going to court to defend our perpetual rights and our damages.”
Foreign and local players have been invited to apply to play in the SA T20 League. This is being planned to be staged an year after the aborted Global T20 League, which cost the South African governing body an estimated US$14 million, 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.
Sethi said the owners will approach the court in South Africa. “We will not only request for a stay of this newly planned league and also ask for damages,” added Sethi.
Cricket South Africa has stated that each team will have 16 players, with a minimum of three and a maximum of four overseas players. Incidentally, 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.
“We had paid money and we were given perpetual rights and even players’ draft was completed,” said Sethi.
Cricket South Africa said that the deadline for the new SA T20 League player applications is October 2 and a draft will be held on October 17.
The aborted Global league was hit by many problems and led to the axeing of former chief executive Haroon Lorgat in September 2017, with no television deal or sponsorship in place. The eight franchises in the Global league were privately owned.
CSA have reached an agreement with SABC, the public broadcaster, to televise the matches and provide radio coverage.
This three-year deal has come just over a month after subscription channel SuperSport withdrew from a joint venture with CSA in which SuperSport would have had a 49 per cent stake in the league.