A task team, appointed by Cricket South Africa (CSA), has been asked to present a new business model for the Global T20 League such that a 20-over tournament can both grow the cricketing fan base but also turn a profit in order to put South Africa on the world’s T20 landscape.
The team will present their plans on March 31 to the Members’ Council, the decision-making body made up of the 12 provincial presidents, who rejected a proposal presented at a board meeting in Durban because they wanted more options to consider.
The Members’ Council will take the final decision on whether the tournament will go ahead or not.
They were not in favour of the most recent model which moved away from private ownership to a centrally owned CSA-run league – which also threatened the existing domestic game – but the CSA’s acting CEO Thabang Moroe, who is on the task team, told ESPNcricinfo both the Members’ Council and the board want to see the tournament go ahead in some form.
“It was not so much about rejecting the proposed model,” Moroe said. “The Members Council were of the opinion that a number of options needed to be considered to come up with the best possible model. There is general agreement that the final model should be based on growing CSA’s fans base to draw new fans to the game and produce a viable alternative source of revenue.”
Growing the local fan base is part of the reason the proposal presented to the board at the beginning of February opted for a league that was owned and run by the CSA, as opposed to the original tournament in which all but one team was foreign owned. Three IPL owners, two PSL teams, and businesspersons based out of the UAE and Hong Kong were announced as owners of seven of the eight teams. However, contracts were signed and no money changed hands.
Players who were contracted for the original event did receive contracts and were subsequently paid – foreign players received 50% and local players 60% of their total fee – and the postponement of the inaugural event cost CSA US $14 million. They had forecast that staging the event would amount to losses of US $25 million and are now aiming for an event which will only cost US $6 million to run per year – with fewer foreign players – for the first three years.
Though the most cost-effective model was not approved by the Members’ Council, Moroe aims to present them with something better when they meet next on March 31. He also offered an assurance that a new T20 tournament will not crowd out the current domestic set-up, as has been feared.
“The T20 [league] will be a product for fan and economic growth,” Moroe said. “The one-day cup and the Sunfoil Series four-day competitions are cricket specific and will continue to operate as key elements of CSA’s talent and development pipelines to ensure that our future players are well prepared to take the step up to international level.”
A GLT20, however, will still not be possible without a host broadcaster and title sponsor, both of which were absent when the original tournament was postponed. Moroe confirmed those are “the two most important initial objectives,” and that negotiations were “underway with interested parties.”
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.