Smith will oversee South Africa’s new T20 league

JOHANNESBURG: Former South African captain Graeme Smith was named on Tuesday to head a new Twenty20 franchise tournament to be held in the republic in January and February next year.

The announcement was made by Cricket South Africa (CSA) six days after it revealed it had withdrawn from a one-day international Super League World Cup series scheduled in Australia in January, which would have conflicted with the new tournament.

CSA and South African television company SuperSport are major shareholders in the league, which is set to be a major moneymaker for a cash-strapped national body.

Indian reports claim that the league will in fact be an offshoot of the Indian Premier League, with the owners of IPL having purchased six franchises in South Africa.

The ASC statement on the appointment of the 41-year-old Smith gave no details on ownership of the franchises, but said one of Smith’s first tasks would be “to grow the brand and confirm the franchises. participants for the cricket festival to take place every year in southern Africa.”

Smith, who retired as a player in 2014, did not renew his contract as manager of ASC cricket when it expired in March, but it was widely speculated he would be involved in the T20 project.

“I am extremely honored to be entrusted with the leadership of this exciting new company. I am deeply committed to South African cricket and happy to serve the game as best I can,” Smith said.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to deliver the new league which I believe will be a hugely competitive product, which can bring the much needed investment into the game and provide new opportunities for players around the world and, more importantly, to our South Local African talent.

A CSA spokesman said he could not confirm reports from India which named Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants, Hyderabad Sunrisers, Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Capitals as buyers of South African franchises.

CSA said when it announced its withdrawal from the one-day series in Australia that it wanted its key players available for the new league.

South Africa have lost the Super League points available for the Australian series and as a result may not be able to automatically qualify for the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

“This new league promises to make a significant investment in both professional cricket and

development in South Africa, as well as a positive socio-economic and tourism injection into the country. the Director General of the CSA, Pholetsi Mosekisaid.

Posted in Dawn, July 20, 2022

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