CSA postpone T20 League

2017-10-19 06:02

CRICKET South Africa’s (CSA) troubled T20 Global League has been postponed to 2018 in an embarrassing climb-down for the organisation which launched the tournament amid great fanfare in London in June.

Failure to secure a suitable broadcast package and a title sponsor meant CSA stood to lose about $25 million (R341 million), representing roughly half of the organisation’s cash reserves.

“We have not come to this decision lightly,” acting CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Having discussed it with all our stakeholders, including the franchise owners, we believe that the interest of the league should be our first priority. We have re-assessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well.”

A number of top international players had been signed for the 2017 competition, including England one-day captain Eoin Morgan and former England batsman Kevin Pietersen.

The six-week tournament, due to feature eight teams, was scheduled to run from November 3 to December 16.

Former CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat left his job suddenly last month citing a clash with the organisation’s board, widely reported in South African media to be about his role in setting up the T20 Global League.

The South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca) expressed concern and disappointment at the postponement of the T20 Global League.

The 144 players who were either contracted or drafted to play for eight privately-owned city-based teams will now not have any cricket over November and early December.

“Confirmation of postponement of the League was communicated to me in a teleconference of CSA’s board and Members Council earlier today,” said Tony Irish, chief executive of Saca.

“At this stage we’re unsure of exactly what a postponement means other than the fact that it’s clear the league will not take place this year.

“We will be seeking clarity from CSA on the further implications.

“This has a very significant impact on a large number of local and overseas players, all of whom have signed contracts to play in the league.

“Some players turned down other opportunities in order to commit themselves to these contracts. We will be looking at all implications of this for players, including what compensation should be paid to them.

“Saca is well aware of the fact that this will also affect various other groups including franchises, coaches and stadium owners.

“I think it will be necessary for CSA to appoint its own independent review into what has actually transpired here as there are significant implications across South African cricket.”

Meanwhile, fast bowler Morné Morkel has made it clear on numerous occasions that he would like to be apart of the Proteas 2019 World Cup plans.

The 33-year-old, who suffered a side-strain injury in the first Test against Bangladesh, is likely to be out of action for about six weeks — missing the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh.

New Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has acknowledged that he has had talks with Morkel, but said he hadn’t told him anything about the World Cup because it’s still far away. — Reuters-Sport24.

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