• Cobras, Titans lament ‘end’ of CLT20

    Cape Cobras CEO Nabeal Dien says they will seek a financial payout from Cricket South Africa should the Champions League T20 competition be scrapped, writes Kobus Pretorius.

    SACricketmag.com spoke to the CEOs of the Titans and the Cape Cobras about the impact it would have on South African franchises if the CLT20 were to be discontinued, as is almost certain to be the case.

    Although no official announcement regarding the future of the tournament has been made, reports have emerged claiming a section in the BCCI, the major stakeholders in CLT20, wants to shelve the tournament.

    Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani said last week a final decision on the future of the Champions League will be taken ‘sooner rather than later’.

    Nabeal Dien, CEO of the Cape Cobras, confirmed to SACricketmag.com that the franchises are to meet with CSA this week when, among other things, the future of the CLT20 will be discussed.

    ‘There has been no official notification from CSA, but we may be informed about the situation when we meet with them this week,’ said Dien.

    Non IPL teams get a participation fee of $200 000 when they qualify for CLT20, an amount which gives a significant boost to their budget.

    Dien said the last time the Cobras played in the Champions League, the franchise received R2.4 million.

    ‘If the competition were to be shelved, it would have a huge impact on all the franchises. It’s not just about the money, which is significant in terms of our budget. It’s about the world stage that the players get to play on.

    ‘It’s a big deal for the younger players to play that form of international cricket.’

    The Cobras qualified for the 2015 Champions League and subsequently included the participation fee in their budget for the 2015/-2016 season.

    ‘Our budget is always under strain.’ said Dien. ‘However, because of the uncertainty surrounding the future of the CLT20, we decided to remove this year’s participation fee from our budget.

    ‘Half that money goes to the players, so we effectively cut out R1 million from our budget for next season which puts us under pressure.’

    Dien says with the absence of the CLT20, there is no incentive left for local franchises to lure overseas players to South Africa.

    ‘We also have to look at what incentives there are left for local players to play T20 cricket. This could possibly mark the end of overseas players like Sunil Narine or Dwayne Bravo coming to play T20 cricket in South Africa, because they were paid from the money we received for qualifying for the Champions League.

    ‘We invested in them because of that competition but now there is no reason to,’ said Dien. ‘CSA is a shareholder in the CLT20. If the decision is made to scrap the tournament, CSA will be paid out their share and we feel we deserve to get a piece of that payout, but there are no guarantees so we’ll have to wait and see.

    ‘What we will do at this weeks meeting is try and get an alternative from CSA to replace the Champions League.’

    Jacques Faul, CEO of the Titans, described the imminent end of the CLT20 as ‘sad’.

    ‘As we understand it the broadcaster wants out, and there isn’t anything we can do about it so we have to move on,’ said Faul.

    ‘Teams stand to gain between R4 million and R6 million with the Champions League, but for us it’s about the players as well. For players who don’t play international cricket, the Champions League is the highlight of their career.

    ‘It was also good for the sponsors and there is prestige attached to playing in the competition.’

    Faul was positive about the newly announced Africa T20 Cup, which he believes can make a difference.