Delhi Daredevils team owners, GMR Group, are exploring the possibility to acquire a franchisee in the South African T-20 League. A senior management source in GMR Sports Private Limited has confirmed the interest to InsideSport.co. However, the Delhi Daredevils franchisee, if succeeds to buy franchisee rights, will have to manage without Indian players.
Cricket South Africa is not even exploring the possibility of having Indian cricket stars for the forthcoming league. “The BCCI currently has a policy to not allow its players to play abroad (in cricket league),” Mr. Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive, Cricket South Africa has told InsideSport in response to the question whether CSA has approached the BCCI on Indian cricketers availability for the SA League.
A senior manager in GMR Sports Private Limited, the sports business arm of the GMR group, has confirmed to InsideSport about interest in the SA League on condition of anonymity. “Yes we are considering to acquire a South African (League) team,” the source confirmed. “We are keen. We are exploring opportunities.” Mr Lorgat did not deny the GMR interest either. “It would not be appropriate for us to disclose bidders’ names,” says Haroon, while confirming that a 35% of the 150 interests received from across the globe is from India.
“We have received interests from across the globe. There are more than 150 parties and we are now engaged in shortlisting the potential bidder,” adds Haroon.
The inaugural edition of the SA T-20 league will feature a total of eight teams. Each team will have a 17-member squad with a maximum of four foreigner players and two mandatory South African rookies. “We have already created a window period for this tournament (League) that allows all our star Proteas players to participate alongside some of the best available international players.” says Haroon.
However, the Chennai Super Kings franchisee owners India Cements, first ones to express interest in acquiring an SA League, team have dropped the idea after initial evaluations. “We did consider it (buying an SA League franchisee) initially. But, that’s no more in our scheme of things. We are fully focused on getting our coveted position in the IPL. Process starts in new few weeks. That is our top priority now,” confirmed a senior manager close to the India Cement supremo and former ICC and BCCI president N Srinivasan.
Reports suggest that Pak Super League team Lahore Qalandars franchisees are also exploring the idea of acquiring a team in the South African T-20 League.
According to Pakistan’s Duniya TV report a majority of “150 expressions of interest for the SA Leageu franchisee” have come from the Indian sub-continent. India contributes to a total of 35% interest, second only to league’s host nation South Africa’s 40%. Corporate from UAE, UK and USA are also tipped to be exploring the possibility of buying team franchisees.
Cricket South Africa is reportedly asking for 50 million rand (Rs 25 crore) franchise fee for Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban Cities. The fee for smaller cities is reported to be 30 million rand (Rs 15 crore). Haroon confirms the two-tier franchisee fee structure, but does not disclose the numbers.