Friday, 28 January 2022

De Villiers headlines SA’s new T20 league

 FILE

CAPE TOWN: AB de Villiers will headline South Africa’s first city-based Twenty20 league when he leads the Tshwane Spartans in the opening match of the Mzansi (South Africa) Super League against Cape Town Blitz on Friday.

The month-long league will get underway barely a month after the official launch, without a title sponsor and with a relatively modest list of international players, partly because some big-name players already had other commitments.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) have budgeted for a loss of 40 million rand (about $2.8 mn/2.45 mn euros) for the first edition of a tournament which was first mooted in 2017 before being abandoned in the absence of a television deal or main sponsor, leading to a loss of about $14 mn and the resignation of then chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

In Pakistan, Geo Super will televise the tournament. In South Africa, SABC, the cash-strapped national broadcaster, will cover it. The free-to-air coverage is expected to boost the popularity of cricket, although it is unlikely that CSA are receiving a substantial rights fee.

In addition to the absence of a title sponsor, none of the six teams have announced a major sponsor.

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