JOHANNESBURG and CAPE TOWN - Pretoria Mavericks franchise owner Hiren Bhanu, says Cricket South Africa (CSA) was left with no other option but to postpone the T20 Global League for a year.
“With the model we had in mind, we didn’t get the revenue streams per our expectations,” Bhanu said on Wednesday.
Bhanu confirmed that his consortium remains committed to the tournament and that the postponement will be better for CSA, allowing it to iron out some critical details, while most importantly getting a proper broadcasting deal on the table.
“CSA needed to a take a grip of the situation and needed time to pick up the bits and pieces which have been left behind after the previous CEO’s departure,” Bhanu said.
Bhanu painted a picture of an organisation that was rushing to pull all the organisational logistics of the event together while not being cognisant of the everyday demands that such a big venture entails.
“For instance they were going to companies seeking commercial partnerships but for many companies, it’s the end of year and they just don’t have the budget. That was one area that was not looked at by the previous CEO (Haroon Lorgat).”
The foundation of the tournament was going to be its broadcast deal, which fell apart with Lorgat demanding too much money, and following his departure at the end of last month left SuperSport with too little time to find advertisers.
“I don’t blame SuperSport at all for not signing in the last few weeks, they just didn’t have the time. To broadcast such an event you need advertisers and it was just too late to get those - 30 days? That’s not enough time,” Bhanu explained.
“The postponement gives everyone enough time. The model for the tournament needs to be revamped, revenues need to be looked into ... it has to be better.”
Meanwhile, the Bloem City Blazers have expressed their commitment to the staging of the Global T20 League in 2018 despite the fallout of the maiden edition’s postponement this week.
City Blazers owner Sushil Kumar, a Hong Kong-based businessman, believed that although his franchise is currently experiencing “mixed feelings”, the postponement could be the best thing for the T20 Global League going forward.
“On one hand, there is a sense of disappointment. We, along with our fans, were looking forward to the tournament and our preparations were going ahead at full steam and taking promising shape,” Kumar said in a statement.
“On the other hand, there is also a sense of relief. We will now have time to have clarity on the broadcast and sponsorship rights (for both the League and the teams), which have been unconfirmed.
"With less than a month to go before the tournament, the only concerns were related to the broadcast footprint and league sponsorship, which in turn affected the team sponsorship efforts.”
Kumur stressed that at no point will he be turning his back on the Global T20 League and his new “second home’’ Bloemfontein.
“We remain committed to the T20 Global League just as we were three months ago. We will be working towards the first edition scheduled for November 2018 with renewed vigour and enthusiasm,” he stated.
“It also goes without saying that our commitment towards development at grassroots and schools level, transformation through performance and all investments towards the Mangaung Municipality are intact.
"We will continue to channel our strategy and efforts to bringing Bloemfontein and the Free State on the world cricketing map. South Africa has become our home, we are not going anywhere.”