Uncertainty looms large over the “postponed” T-20 Global League. Amidst speculation on future and fears of litigation, Cricket South Africa has to its benefit, support and faith of some franchisees – the associates who have got the biggest blow as the league did not take off as scheduled.
The disappointed Johannesburg Giants team owners, India’s GMR Sports still hopes that the prevailing issues are addressed and the league takes place. “We are definitely disappointed that the league is cancelled. CSA had some internal issues and they tried their best but could not get things together. I don’t think they would have been able to do this. We feel the league should have happened but we have no other choice. We can either walk out or support the league. We are hoping the league will take place,” GMR Sports Chief Executive Hemant Dua told insidesport.co.
The league had run into trouble as CSA failed to get an Indian broadcaster and sponsors to meet its targets for the inaugural edition. The domestic broadcast deal also was not as expected by CSA. As the South African cricket administration works on getting its act together, GMR would adopt a wait and watch approach. Pulling out of the league is not one viable option for the franchisee, who had invested a lot of time, effort and money.
“We will get more input in the next few weeks about CSA’s next steps. Only then we will be able to probably gauge whether the investment has potential or not,” adds Dua. “Hopefully the league will happen in November 2018 (as claimed by Cricket South Africa) and we can carry on with what we have actually invested. A lot of work and effort that has been put in. Moneywise also a lot has gone in, so we would not like that to go waste.”
The half-baked league in the first season would not have helped any stake holders. The termination of an IP before its launch does hurt its credibility. But franchisees’ faith in the Global T20 League prevails. Bloemfontein City Blazers is another franchisee to back CSA.
“The news of the postponement of the T20 Global League has evoked a set of mixed feelings for us. On one hand, there is a sense of disappointment. On the other hand, there is also a sense of relief. We will now have time to have clarity on the Broadcast and Sponsorship Rights (for both the League and the teams), which have been unconfirmed,” Mr Sushil Kumar, owner, Bloem City Blazers, has stated in a Press release. “We appreciate Cricket South Africa’s transparency and honesty at a very critical time. It is important that the necessary structures and contracts are in place for the tournament to have a successful run. We remain committed to the T20 Global League just as we were three months ago. We will be working towards the first edition scheduled for November 2018 with renewed vigour and enthusiasm.”
GMR Sports, also the owners of the IPL franchisee Delhi Daredevils, too remain optimistic. “I generally feel that the league has a lot of potential. If they don’t see that potential and are not able to harness that potential, then there is some problem. We will support them till we have some clarity. I have faith in the potential of the league and I have faith in the organization Cricket South Africa. Whether I will be able to repose that faith into the next step that needs to be seen,” says Dua.
Meanwhile, CSA is faced with a threat of a legal battle with former chief executive Haroon Lorgat, the brain behind the Global T-20 League who on Tuesday was accused of withholding information on the league. Some of the players may also move court for compensation claim while the franchisees who fall apart with CSA will also seek compensation.
At the same time, CSA is heading to initiate internal inquiry against Lorgat. The mode and conduct of allotting the team franchisees and other contracts will also be investigated, CSA management had stated.