Cape Town - The South African T20 Global League will definitely have a positive downstream impact for small and medium businesses (SMEs), Cricket SA (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat told Fin24 on Thursday.
CSA announced earlier this year that the league will debut in the last quarter of 2017. Teams will consist of local and international players.
The mission of the T20 Global League is to present world class, top quality cricket hosted in iconic local cities and stadiums in SA. Apart from CSA at the centre of developing the league, there will be eight different franchise owners in eight cities developing the league as well.
"Let us not forget our vision is for the T20GL to benefit SA Cricket, the cities and the country. Some cities have cottoned-on early. In Port Elizabeth, for instance, they are exploring opportunities to team up with the global investor. We need to be creative and take advantage of what platform the league can offer," said Lorgat.
In his view, the South African T20 league will be the equivalent of a world cup coming to SA each year.
"With it come global interests, investors and visitors. There has already been foreign direct investment (FDI) because of it. The owners of the various franchise teams come from across the world. Two are from the IPL (Indian Premier League) and two from the Pakistan Super league, for instance," said Lorgat.
The CSA is also busy finalising a potential deal with another foreign investor to own the Stellenbosch franchise.
He anticipates that the league will also have a great impact on tourism in SA as a lot of players, fans will come from abroad and the league season will be attractive to foreign visitors.
"It will be all about building the brand value and the profile of the league during the initial years. As you build the value a lot more revenue streams will be generated - like higher media rights and even memberships for fans. Building a successful league takes time," explained Lorgat.
"So, during the initial years you need to be patient. Those who understand this model know that during the early years when you are building a brand you need to invest and all our (franchise) owners are willing to invest."
He emphasised that SA has all the ingredients to make its T20 league the best in the world. The time zone in SA, for instance, is very good for broadcasting to the Indian sub-continent and the UK, which are major cricket markets in the world.
SA also has a great cricket culture, infrastructure and local talent and he added that top international players like to play in the country.
"All of these lend to an attractive competition and from a fan's point of view they can also enjoy great places to holiday alongside the competition. SA has the fun spots and good weather, which it can easily offer fans from all over the world to make the league time of year their holiday season in SA," said Lorgat.
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