JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa (CSA) are continuing to forge ahead with establishing its T20 franchise for the upcoming season, even as all around it, the support structures for the event seem to be falling to pieces.
CSA were still considering bids from at least 10 of its provincial affiliates yesterday, hoping to finalise the process that will see which venues will host the six franchises for the new competition that is due to start in the second week of November.
That is happening despite their equity partner for that new competition, SuperSport, withdrawing from the arrangement on Tuesday night. CSA are understood to believe they can make up any shortfall from SuperSport’s disassociation through a broadcasting deal.
Independent Media understands that a number of provincial CEOs are desperate for the tournament to go ahead, fearing further reputational damage to CSA if it doesn’t.
The only official word from a CSA spokesman yesterday afternoon was that any public utterances about the tournament will have an impact on more than just the federation and that more time be granted to CSA before it can update the public, the players and coaches about its plans. As yet there is still no official date for when the 2018/19 domestic season is supposed to start.
Meanwhile, the spectre of a possible trip to the courts still lingers over the federation concerning the Global T20 League and the franchise owners which were lined up to invest in the teams and the tournament. That event was cancelled when CSA failed to sign a broadcast deal or a headline sponsor. It has already cost CSA over R200-million, but the previous owners have maintained that they haven’t been properly compensated and that they are due a stake in any new competition CSA might establish.
CSA has also written to Minister of Sport, Tokozile Xasa, requesting a new date for its mandatory appearance before the Parliamentary portfolio committee on sports and recreation. That was supposed to take place this week, but CSA have said they would be able to better inform the committee about the goings on in the local game after its AMG next month.
* There was some good news for SA cricket out of England yesterday with scans on Dale Steyn’s groin revealing just a Grade one strain, which will keep the veteran fast bowler on the sidelines for up to two weeks. He will miss one match for his English County Hampshire.