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Monday, June 24, 2024

CSA and SuperSport join forces to launch new T20 domestic tournament

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Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa and SuperSport have signed an agreement to form a new company that will manage a dynamic new T20 competition.

CSA have long had troubles with its marquee T20 competition ever since the disbandment of the Global T20 League in 2017 when it failed to secure a broadcast deal. This led to the subsequent release of former chief executive Haroon Lorgot.

This set in motion a string of events that plunged CSA into an administrative crisis under the stewardship of Thabang Moroe. Under Moroe’s leadership CSA launched the Mzansi Super League in 2018 with the broadcasting rights handed over to national broadcaster SABC.

Only two editions of the MSL were completed with the last two tournaments cancelled due to Covid-19. CSA, though, incurred heavy financial losses during this period due to the two editions for the MSL being staged without a headline sponsor and a major broadcasting deal.

Plans for the competition are well underway with the first ball to be bowled in January 2023 upon the Proteas’ Men’s team return from their tour of Australia. January will then become the window for the league which will comprise of six privately-owned franchises playing each other in a double round before the top three sides move to the play-off stages.

“We are excited by the formation of something this fresh and invigorating, which also offers the opportunity for private investment into the franchises,” said Pholetsi Moseki, CSA CEO. “CSA has already received interest from a number of potential local and international investors.”

Moseki emphasised that this is an entirely new event, adding that South Africa has a rich crop of talent who would benefit from exposure through a franchise league. He said that a sustainable business model had been created for both the league and the teams, with a healthy salary bill to attract the very best local and international players.

“We are delighted to invest in a product that will change the face of South African cricket. There is an early-year gap in the calendar, so the timing is ideal,” said SuperSport CEO Marc Jury.

Each team will consist of four overseas professionals and will not have to adhere to any transformation targets.

SuperSport has committed to live broadcast of all the matches and will also produce the world feed for the international television market.

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