Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith, seen here with ex-England counterpart Michael Vaughan. Photo: Reuters

JOHANNESBURG - The owner of at least one of the franchises in Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Global T20 League tournament, says he has no concerns about some of the teething problems which have beset the competition, including the inability to finalise TV rights.

Javed Afridi, the senior owner of the Benoni Zalmi (meaning youth in Urdu) is only too happy to be associated with the new league, which starts in the first week of November. Afridi, also the CEO of Pakistan electronics company Haier, said despite CSA still not having signed a deal to broadcast the tournament, he was optimistic his brand would gain the necessary publicity.

“Definitely, our brand will gain leverage from associating with such kind of activity,” Afridi, a cousin of Pakistani all-rounder Shahid, said.

Afridi’s franchise yesterday unveiled former South Africa captain Graeme Smith as its head coach. Smith will be assisted by Highveld Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana.

There have been concerns in some quarters about the length of time it’s taking CSA to finalise the broadcasting deal for the tournament. This weekend sees the ‘player auction’ take place in Cape Town, where the various players will be placed with the franchises. As yet, no deal is in place to broadcast that event live, although it may be made available on-line.

Some of the sticking points around the deal involve costs and finalising advertising with such sort notice, and it is understood CSA may be overvaluing its product. Smith, meanwhile, said the tournament was a step in the right direction for CSA.

“We’ve seen what the IPL has done for Indian cricket and the Big Bash has been a huge success for Australia - just in terms of attracting a young audience. It’s important that this tournament embodies the values of CSA, if it does that, it will be a huge success.”


The Star

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