Strong Indian interest in new SA T20 league

AB de Villiers will be one of the biggest names in the new T20 competition © Gallo Images/Getty Images

Cricket South Africa has received more than 150 expressions of interest over ownership of the eight franchises in their new T20 league. South Africa are planning a tournament in the mould of T20 leagues around the world such as the IPL, BBL and CPL to be played annually in November and December. The eight teams will be privately-owned.

Last Friday’s expression of interest deadline revealed that the most likely owners will be local or Indian – with 39% from South Africa and 35% from India. There has also been interest from the UK, the USA and the UAE . The next step in the process is for parties to submit tender proposals by April 15. CSA will then decide on a shortlist and then finalise the team owners.

Apart from communications from potential team owners, CSA has also been in contact with what CEO Haroon Lorgat called “star players from across the world” who want to participate in the tournament. CSA has already confirmed all their internationals will be available for the event, with no other fixtures planned for that period.

Previously, Kevin Pietersen, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Sohail Tanvir and Chris Gayle have been part of the South African domestic T20 tournament, which is played between the six existing franchises and has remained a low-key competition. The new tournament, whose name and logo are in the process of being confirmed, will be a completely different entity, and will run separately to CSA’s other domestic competitions.

“The tournament has enormous potential and will change the face of South African domestic T20 cricket. We have been longing for a big league of our own to showcase the talent, facilities and beauty of South Africa,” Hashim Amla said. “We have great talent in South Africa and for our local players to rub shoulders and play with some of the best T20 players in the world can only be good for them.”

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

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