Graeme Smith would love to have the talismanic Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the SA20 league once he is done playing in the IPL and, at the slightest of opportunities, will be reaching out to the World Cup-winning captain. (More Cricket News)
South Africa's most successful skipper Smith is the commissioner of the inaugural SA20 in which the IPL franchisees are owners of all six teams.
Dhoni, 41, only plays in the IPL since retiring from international cricket in 2020. With his involvement in the IPL, he is not eligible to play in overseas leagues at the moment.
No Indian is taking part in the league's first edition.
"It will be amazing to have a guy like MS here. We respect the BCCI's decision. We have created a good working relationship with them and we talk to them regularly, learn and bounce ideas off. They are hugely experienced in organising these type of big events," Smith said in a media interaction.
"From our perspective, we looked at one or two opportunities (retired Indian players). We wanted to build vibrant young and up and coming competitive cricketing league. Someone like MS would add a lot of value to our league to it. If there was an opportunity, I will be reaching out to him."
With teams using IPL like jerseys and logos in South Africa, the tournament looks like an extension of the world's biggest T20 league.
BCCI has expressed its concerns over the way teams are promoting themselves in South Africa but Smith said nothing has been raised from the Indian board on that front.
"We have a close relationship with the BCCI and nothing of that sort has been raised," Smith asserted.
Asked about the response the league has got from all stakeholders, Smith added: "The league has been blessed with some great individual performances from South Africans as well the international names.
"Then at the stadiums to be able to get this type of energy we have got from our fans capturing the imagination after a negative period in the game has been incredible," he added.