South Africa to launch new T20 league

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Johannesburg, April 27 (IANS) The deadline for submission of ownership bid documents for franchisee teams in South Africa’s new Twenty20 league will expire on Friday, the country’s cricket board announced on Thursday.

The new tournament, named T20 Global Destination League, will comprise eight city-based teams. The tournament is scheduled to start in early November and the final slated for December 16.

“The countdown to announce the eight owners of Cricket South Africa’s new #T20 Global Destination League has begun,” Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Thursday.

“The CSA announced its intention to host its own global T20 tournament with a worldwide tender notice in February this year, requesting Expressions of Interest from potential owners,” it said.

With phase two of the process approaching completion, potential owners have one last opportunity to submit their documents.

“The tournament will include top international and local cricketers and will highlight South Africa as a world-class destination to watch cricket and at the same enjoy the tourism aspects of the country as well,” the statement added.

“Following the submission of formal bids, the CSA will evaluate the qualifying bids received and announce the successful owners in June.”

In March, the CSA had received more than 150 Expressions of Interest (EoI) from potential owners as part of the first phase of the process.

The majority of interest came from South Africa, making up 39 percent of the total EoIs received, with India making up a whopping 35 percent. There was also significant interest shown from the UK, the US and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“We have already seen great interest from South Africa and abroad in our franchise teams, and we anticipate some last-minute submission applications from potential owners ahead of our 5pm deadline on Friday, 28 April,” CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said.

“This is an opportunity that cannot be ignored. We are looking for prospective team owners who are passionate about cricket, as well as South Africa. They will share the same values and ideals in cricket and the country as we do,” he added.

The CSA has signed eight marquee international players and eight marquee South African players as part of the league.

Each marquee South African player will be allocated to a new franchise team based in the city he has either been historically associated with, or a city with which he can build a strong association.

–IANS

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