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Cricket SA to spend millions on stadium upgrades

Proteas

Johannesburg - Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday announced multimillion-dollar plans to revamp and upgrade several stadia in preparation for its planned high-profile Twenty20 league.

More than 350 million rand ($27 million, 24.3 million euros) has been set aside for the improvements, which will include state-of-the-art artificial lighting systems, sports field technology and LED scoreboards.

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Cricket SA chief executive Haroon Lorgat. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

"We want our cricket stadiums to be world class," said CSA chief Haroon Lorgat in a statement.

Earlier this year, South Africa announced the launch of its own version of the Indian Premier League and the Australian Big Bash League, with eight city-based franchises.

It hopes to attract major international investment and big-name players to the league, which begins in November and ends on December 16 with all South Africa's leading players and many world stars likely to be available.

Franchises will be sold and the owners will be announced in London on June 19, said CSA.

Eight "marquee" overseas players and eight top South African players have already been announced and will be allocated to each of the teams.

The eight overseas players already named are West Indians Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, Sri Lankan Lasith Malinga, New Zealander Brendon McCullum, English pair Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy and South Africa-born former England star Kevin Pietersen.

The South African "marquee" players are Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.

"Our aim is for the T20 Global League to rank among the world's best T20 leagues, and enhancing the in-stadium experience of fans is essential," said Lorgat.

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