Cricket South Africa (CSA) has launched an eight-franchise Twenty20 competition named the T20 Global League.
The CSA also announced the host cities - Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Stellenbosch and Benoni - as well as its team owners ahead of the player draft on 19th August.
There are only two South African proprietors - Brimestone’s chief executive Mustaq Brey and a consortium headed up by Osman Osman – while the rest are foreign, with two established Indian Premier League (IPL) owners securing franchises.
The most prominent investor is Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan, who along with Juhi Chawla and Jay Mehta co-owns the IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) side Trinbago Knight Riders. The actor and producer confirmed that his team would play their home games at Newlands Cricket Ground and would be called the Cape Town Knight Riders.
The GMR Group, which owns IPL team the Delhi Daredevils, will head up a Johannesburg franchise, and Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise owner Javed Afridi will be in charge of a Benoni team.
"We are thrilled by the international mix of owners and the passion and excitement that was clearly demonstrated during the bidding process by them and the marquee players,” said Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the CSA. “It sets up our T20GL as a fans’ favourite in the cricketing calendar."
Lorgat had previously admitted that the recent loss of international players on Kolpak deals - where a player gives up his right to represent his national side to play domestically abroad - “was a major consideration” when CSA was conceptualising a more lucrative domestic T20 league. Lorgat also confirmed that there will be “88 slots [available] for Proteas players".
Almost 400 players from ten countries have confirmed their interest in being part of the upcoming player draft. The official dates of the tournament are yet to be confirmed but it is widely mooted that the competition will be played in November.
The T20 Global League replaces South Africa’s previous domestic T20 tournament, the Ram Slam.