The upcoming T20 Global League in South Africa will have a strong Indian presence, with two IPL franchises owners becoming direct stakeholders in the competition. Delhi Daredevils owners GMR Group snapped up the Johannesburg franchise, while Shah Rukh Khan and the co-owners of Kolkata Knight Riders will have Cape Town, and their team will be called Cape Town Knight Riders. The player draft is scheduled on August 19 and the eight-team event is likely to be played in November-December.
Apart from the two IPL franchises, two Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise owners, representatives from Dubai and Hong Kong and two South African business entities make the Global League truly global in terms of ownerships. Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Benoni, Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Stellenbosch and Bloemfontein will feature in the tournament. Kagiso Rabada and JP Duminy will be the marquee players for Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively. AB de Villiers will be the icon player for Pretoria. According to the Cricket South Africa (CSA) press release, close to 400 players from 10 countries could be part of the player draft. “The announcement of the team owners is a key milestone to successfully launch our T20 Global League,” CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.
Like all other T20 leagues around the world, this one is also a trickle-down effect of the IPL but there will be a difference.
“The IPL is the iconic (T20) league. The biggest difference is that the IPL has all Indian owners. The T20 Global League has owners from different parts of the world. It’s a mix and that’s why it’s called the Global League. Also, there’s a massive difference in the salary cap. Here the salary cap is around $1.5 million, where in the IPL you buy one player for $1.5 million,” Delhi Daredevils CEO Hemant Dua told The Indian Express.
Asked if BCCI approval was required, Dua said: “It’s not an Indian franchise going (there) and playing. It’s GMR Sports. One of our franchises is Delhi Daredevils. We want to build our sports business. Where’s the objection from anybody about that! This is not an extension of the Delhi Daredevils. We can invest wherever we want to.”
“We want to grow the Knight Riders brand globally, and acquiring a team in T20 Global league is a step in that direction,” Kolkata Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore said after the group got Cape Town.
They already own Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League.