The T20 Global League is making all the right noises nowadays and two prominent Indians have associated with Cricket South Africa by acquiring franchises.
While Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, who also owns IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, has been named owner of the Cape Town franchise of Cricket South Africa’s upcoming T20 League, businessman and media mogul Ajay Sethi has acquired the Port Elizabeth franchise.
Outlining his plans to local media and stakeholders at a welcoming event in Port Elizabeth, Sethi said, “Port Elizabeth is a beautiful city and is deeply entrenched with interesting cricketing history. I am very pleased and proud to represent this city as my franchise team. In the coming weeks, we look forward to working very closely with the Mayor and City Council to put together a robust plan of action to create value for both the city and the team.”
He further added, “In addition, I would like to extend my thanks to CSA (Cricket South Africa) in accepting our bid and giving us an opportunity to become a part of this exciting T20 Global League journey. This tournament is about the fans, the players, rekindling the magic and reviving the battles, between bat and ball, between heart and mind, showing the world what makes this game extraordinary.”
Marquee player Imran Tahir, who has great expectations, gushed, “I’m really looking forward to the new team; I hope we as Protea players and the international marquee players make this league the best league in the world and show what South Africa is all about.”
Andrew Whitfield, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Development, Tourism and Agriculture for Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality also attended the event. He too is excited by the possibilities presented to the city by the T20 Global League.
“This franchise has further incentivized us to invest and support our cricket infrastructure for the city. The T20 Global League will show the youth in PE that there is opportunity in sport. Working together with Ajay Sethi and CSA, we can leverage opportunities beyond cricket,” Whitfield concluded.
Former ICC CEO and current CEO of Cricket South Africa (CSA), Haroon Lorgat, who feels they have a winner up their sleeves, said, “Fans can look forward to epic game experiences, complimented by action-packed stadiums, big entertainment, top class broadcasters and accessible ticket prices. We can firmly say that the era of 'sportainment' has dawned upon us. It's now South Africa's time to capitalise while reigniting and celebrating our love for the game.”
The player draft is scheduled for 19 August, with almost 400 players from 10 countries confirming their interest.