JOHANNESBURG - The future of the Global League T20 will be determined in the next few days with Cricket South Africa’s interim CEO, Thabang Moroe, saying a “final final call” will be made next week.
The establishment of a franchise T20 competition has been one of the most convoluted and expensive episodes since the unification of the sport in 1991. Postponed just weeks before the first ball was due to be bowled, it saw the departure initially of former CEO Haroon Lorgat, then the loss of about R180-million, although CSA continued to harbour hopes of re-establishing some version of the tournament next summer.
It’s also been enormously embarrassing for the federation who have watched the T20 Leagues in India and Australia flourish, leagues established in Afghanistan and Canada while it can’t sign a broadcast deal for an event for which it hosted a launch in London last year.
Cricket SA’s Board of directors is expected to advise its members council - made up of the various provincial board presidents - about a structure for the new competition. It will then be up the Members Council to make a final call to, as Moroe put it on Wednesday, “go ahead with a specific format as far as a League is concerned or stop the project”.
“The Board could decide, together with the Members to shelve the idea,” Moroe added.
However, Moroe is optimistic that approval will be granted even if the competition is much smaller than had been envisaged when Lorgat was the face of the initial attempts to establish it.
“I’m hoping that if the Board says go ahead, then my thinking is that the League must take place this year.”
Major hurdles remain, including the number of teams, size of squads, salaries and where matches will be played, but Moroe said he was hopeful that a TV deal would be signed - most likely with satellite broadcaster SuperSport - which would then allow Cricket SA to announce a title sponsor as well.
Despite the national team - which contains many of the names that will attract viewers and sponsors - having a fairly busy schedule next summer, Moroe is confident there is enough room on the calendar for the T20 competition.
As regards his own future, Moroe, who’s been the interim CEO since October last year when Lorgat and CSA parted ways, was still awaiting word from the Board about his future.
“Technically (Thursday, May 31) is my last day. The Board is meeting on Friday and Saturday, so I’m hoping that by that stage it will tell me what direction they’d like to take and where I stand," he said.
Moroe has had a lot on his plate lately, not least the protracted negotiations with the players representatives, the SA Cricketers Association, over the next Memorandum Of Understanding, and feels he should stay on for the job until that process is wrapped at least.
“There are some things that are outstanding that I was hoping to see to the end. It would be unfair on management and an incoming CEO to have start renegotiating with SACA, start working on the operations model, have the same difficulties I currently have working on the Future Tours Programme to improve the FTP, looking at the four year financial cycle and the losses we as CSA will make, I have plans in place to circumvent those losses," he added.
“However for somebody else to come in and run those would be unfair on that individual. I was certainly hoping to tie up those few things before somebody else comes in and make it easy for them to come and run Cricket SA.”
If CSA’s Board decides to advertise the position, that process could take up to a month to conclude which could leave Moroe as interim CEO for the next four weeks still.