CSK keen to buy team in South Africa’s new T20 league

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Chennai Super Kings will return to the Indian Premier League in 2018, but the fans may get to see some of its stars in action before that. The Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited (CSKCL), which owns CSK, has shown interest to own a team in South Africa’s new T20 league (#T20 Global Destination League) likely to be played in November-December.

K George John, one of the directors of CSKCL, confirmed to TOI that they have showed ‘expression of interest’ to CSA earlier this month. “We have informed them about our interest. It’s the first step to take. However, we haven’t yet got the bidding documents. We had a very good fan following when the IPL happened in South Africa in 2009. But nothing has been finalized as of now and we will have a clear picture closer to the deadline (April 18) for submission of bids,” John said. CSA had said last week that they have received more than 150 ‘expressions of interest’ for ownership of the teams in the league. They added that about 35% of those who showed interests are from India and 39 % from South Africa.

However, the BCCI till date hasn’t given permission for Indian players to participate in T20 leagues across the world. John said they are ‘well aware’ of the rules and that their idea is to ‘build brand CSK’ across the globe. “As of now we have only thought of expanding and building the brand globally,” he added.

John said that the move to show interest in a foreign league had ‘nothing to do’ with the suspension of CSK from IPL. “We wanted to explore opportunities, see new markets, analyse and research the financial aspects.”

Two years ago, Red Chillies Entertainment, owners of Kolkata Knight Riders, bought a stake from the Caribbean Premier League franchisee Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel.