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CSA hoping to get Indian players and investors for new T20 league

Haroon Lorgat
Haroon Lorgat, chief executive officer of Cricket South Africa. (Photo by ANESH DEBIKY/AFP/Getty Images)

The Cricket South Africa (CSA) came up with their proposal to start a new T20 league recently. The interest was generated as a mitigation activity to keep the local South African players interested in domestic cricket. The recent times had seen many centrally contracted national side players signing the Kolpak deals and leaving South African cricket. Now, the CSA has already invited the tenders for the investors to purchase the 8 participating franchises for the T20 Global Destination.

The tournament is expected to be on the lines of the IPL and BBL and is set to roll out by the end of 2017. In a recent conversation with the Hindustan Times, the CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat mentioned that they have been getting a lot of positive response for their tender from all over the world. He cited investors of India and South Africa to be the two countries that has shown the most interest in owing the teams.

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“We have got interest from all over, the US, UK, we got interest from the Middle East, Far East, and of course India and South Africa. There is interest in the US, but there is a lot of interest coming out of South Africa… and India. These two countries in particular, a lot of interest is registered,” quoted Haroon Lorgat.

He further added that he will not be surprised to see some of the IPL team owners showing interest in buying teams for the proposed league. Earlier, the cricket world has seen Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL, had bought the Trinidad and Tobago franchise in the CPL too. Lorgat stressed on the fact that the South African cricket needs money and T20 is the best way to get it.

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“I would not be surprised if there are existing team owners in IPL that are interested in owning a team in South Africa. We recognise the best way to generate revenue is through the T20 format. The best way to attract new audiences is through the T20 format. We need that in South Africa as much as anywhere else in the world,” quoted Lorgat.

Lastly, he noted that he would love to see the Indian players participate in the league. The Indian players are not allowed to participate in the T20 leagues of the other countries as the BCCI believes it to be an extra workload. However, Haroon Lorgat said that they hope a few players will get NOCs to play in the league.

“I would love players from India participating in the league. We understand BCCI’s position, but hopefully we could engage with them and have some reciprocal arrangement. They may not be able to release all their star players. We understand workload is an issue, but there may well be other players who are not centrally contracted, and BCCI would be able to release them,” conceded the CSA CEO.

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