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WATCH: SA20 league in discussions to make new tournament 'for everyone’ – Graeme Smith

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Cape Town – SA20 Commissioner Graeme Smith has not ruled out the possibility of South Africa’s new T20 cricket tournament to be viewed on free-to-air channels in January.

The new T20 competition is jointly owned by Cricket South Africa and pay-to-view broadcasters SuperSport, and in partnership they will manage the tournament.

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

But Smith, in a Zoom media briefing where the name of the tournament was unveiled on Wednesday, the former Proteas captain and Cricket SA Director of Cricket stated the tournament is keen to uphold its official slogan of “For Everyone”.

“Discussions are ongoing with other broadcasters beyond SuperSport, both globally and locally,” Smith said.

“There is a deal with SuperSport but we have started discussions with radio and are looking for other ways to bring the games to the people.”

Smith is “still finalising details” and “sorting out player registrations”, but confirmed that a shortlist would be created ahead of the player auction to be held on September 19.

Each franchise will have an overall purse of $2-million. All the six teams have already signed on up to five players apiece from a pool as part of the direct-acquisition process.

They can buy up to 12 further players – the maximum number of players in each squad is 17 – from the remainder of the $2m that was already spent on acquiring the five marquee players.

Of the 17 players, 10 have to be South African-based players with a maximum quota of four overseas players allowed in each starting XI.

Smith believes this will be a major point of difference between the SA20 tournament and the United Arab Emirates’ International T20 League that will run concurrently.

“We also have local players of international standard and are focusing heavily on getting even more of our local players to that level,” Smith said.

“At least seven of the playing 11 are going to be SA-based so we don’t foresee any problems with navigating having international players on our teams.”

The regulations stipulated that the breakdown of the five marquee players on the respective rosters prior to the September 19 auction had to be three overseas players, one South African international, and one an uncapped South African player.

All six SA20 teams are owned by commercial groups that are owners of Indian Premier League teams.

@ZaahierAdams

Sport

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