The new, intriguing T20 project for Cricket South Africa, which aims to be second only to the Indian Premier League, will be run by former Proteas captain Graeme Smith. Smith a former Proteas captain and former Director of Cricket for Cricket SA, will oversee everything as the tournament’s “Commissioner.” Smith will be aware that his new position will not be without its obstacles, but he is unlikely to experience the same level of turmoil as he did as Cricket SA emerged from the wreckage that the previous administrators had created.
Going all in is how CSA is doing it with this competition. It all comes down to the nation’s sport’s future. Smith developed a good relationship with the current CEO, Pholetsi Moseki, whom he served as Director of Cricket, and who made that statement last week.
With a background in finance, Moseki is unapologetic and has previously called cricket’s economic climate “difficult.” To ensure that all of the Proteas’ great players were available for the new T20 League, some challenging decisions had to be made, including the one just made to cancel the One-Day series against Australia next year and jeopardize automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup.
Previous attempts to launch a competition have failed, as in the case of the Global League T20 in 2017, due to the inability to secure a broadcast sponsor, and it was a similar situation with the Mzansi Super League in 2019, despite support from the SABC on those occasions. However, the income was minimal just R25 million while the expenditure over two years ran to R200 million.
With a 57.5 percent ownership part in the new business, CSA will own the majority of the stock. Additionally, broadcaster SuperSport will own 30 percent, and Indian entrepreneur Sundar Raman, who served as the IPL’s chief operating officer in the past, would own 12.5 percent of the company.
And it is the league that CSA seeks to resemble. The league’s objective, as stated in a strategy document shared with the CSA Board in April, is to overtake the IPL as the “second greatest T20 league in the globe.”
Due to the emergence of numerous leagues worldwide, it is a significant objective. The West Indies have already established a presence through the Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan hosts a successful league, England hosts The Hundred, and Australia hosts the Big Bash.
The Big Bash and a new T20 league in the United Arab Emirates, which will both be played at roughly the same time in January, will compete against Cricket SA’s new tournament.
The owners of some of the best IPL clubs are apparently supporting the six teams in the South African league thanks to Smith and Raman’s connections in India. These teams are the Lucknow SuperGiants, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai India, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Delhi Capitals.
Smith has faced and conquered numerous obstacles throughout his time in the spotlight, including making the Proteas the best Test side in the world as captain and stabilizing the CSA’s listing ship as Director of Cricket.
He must salvage the game because he is the commissioner, in charge of all league operations (both cricket-related and otherwise). “This is not just a T20 competition, this is really about the sustainability of our game,” Moseki said last week.