Reliance Industries, the owner of five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians have acquired a team in the upcoming Cricket South Africa’s upcoming T20 league. Reliance Industries will own the Cape Town franchise in the six-team tournament which is set to begin in January 2023. (More Cricket News)
Meanwhile, the second-most successful IPL franchise – four-time champions Chennai Super Kings – have also bought the Johannesburg franchise in CSA’s new T20 league, the owners announced in a statement.
The Sun TV Group, owners of Sunrisers Hyderabad, have confirmed the ownership of the Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) franchise. Reportedly, the rest of the three franchises in the league have been also bought by the IPL owners.
Lucknow Super Giants owners, RP Sanjeev Goenka Group, have picked the Durban team, while inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan Royals are set to take the Paarl franchise. Jindal South West Sports, headed by Parth Jindal, who co-owns Delhi Capitals are set to buy the Pretoria franchise.
However, Cricket South Africa has not made any formal announcement on the new franchise owners and the cities they will represent. While the details on new teams are awaited, the board is expected to reveal the name of the league and the player auction date next month.
It must be noted that CSA has cancelled the ODI series against Australia because the dates were clashing with the T20 league. Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith has been named as overall head of the T20 league.
“This is truly an exciting time for South African cricket; the overwhelming interest shows that the country remains valued in the global cricketing eco-system,” Smith said. “A robust bidding process was followed to select the final six owners, the decision was informed by a scorecard based on various criteria to ensure the utmost professionalism, independence, and objectivity to the process.”
Chennai Super Kings owns a franchise in South Africa T20 league pic.twitter.com/0W6rN2i23W— Karthigaichelvan S (@karthickselvaa) July 20, 2022
One of major questions is whether the Indian players will be allowed to play in the league. As per reports, the new T20 league is likely to allow four overseas players in the playing XI. Several top international cricketers have already been contacted to rub shoulders with local talents in the league.
IPL’s Global Presence
This is not the first time IPL owners have gone global. Kolkata Knight Riders owners Red Chillies Entertainment owns Trinbago Knight Riders in Caribbean Premier League. Royal Sports Group, the owners of Rajasthan Royals bought the Barbados team last year in CPL while KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited, that owns Punjab Kings, also bought St Lucia Kings in 2022.
Red Chillies also own a team in UAE’s T20 League and is also among the founding members of Major League Cricket, a franchise-based T20 League in USA.
Will CSA Be Third Time Lucky?
This is Cricket South Africa’s third attempt to have a sustainable franchise-based T20 league. The Global League T20 failed to even take off in 2017 while the Mzansi Super League had to be scrapped after its broadcast rights were unsellable for three years.