A new South African T20 franchise tournament, involving six privately-owned teams, will take place from January 2023.
Cricket South Africa announced on Friday that it had signed an agreement with SuperSport to form a new company that will manage the tournament which will effectively replace the ill-fated Mzanzi Super League.
The six franchises will face each other in a double round with the top three sides qualifying for the playoffs.
“We are excited by the formation of something this fresh and invigorating, which also offers the opportunity for private investment into the franchises,” said CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki. “CSA has already received interest from a number of potential local and international investors.”
Moseki emphasised that this is an entirely new event and that a sustainable business model had been created for both the league and the teams, with a healthy salary bill to attract the very best local and international players.
What will the new league be called?
This will be announced at the official launch of the league.
Will there be a player auction/salary cap?
The league will work collaboratively with the team owners and act in the collective interest of the league and teams. This will include discussions around player rostering and salary caps. A player auction will take place, at a date to be confirmed, in South Africa.
Will teams be privately owned?
Yes. CSA is actively in discussions with private investors who can add value to the league for franchise ownership. There is already considerable interest in this regard.
Where will franchises be based?
South Africa has good cricketing infrastructure and very supportive fans. Teams will have abundance of choice across all our international cricketing venues to base their teams.
Will you allow international players?
Yes. The league will feature international players alongside South African nationals. In each match day XI, there can be up to four international players.
Will there be player demographic targets?
When will matches be played?
The inaugural edition is scheduled for January 2023.
Over how many weeks will the first event be?
Thirty-three matches will be played over three to four weeks.
Will there be double-headers?
Fixtures and details will be announced in due course.
What will happen in year one with the Proteas touring Australia?
The league is scheduled to be played in January each year and is scheduled to begin immediately after the Proteas tour to Australia in the launch year. Going forward we have a clear window.
Any chance of women’s participation at some stage?
Most definitely. The league is actively looking at the possibility of a women’s T20 event to coincide in the coming years.
Do you have broadcast deals in place?
Domestically, yes. The company will also launch an international media rights sales process.
Will the league have a global broadcast reach?
Will this be a once-off event, or will this be for the long term?
Given the popularity of T20 worldwide, how confident are you of attracting big names?
First, it will take place at a fantastic time of year where many of the big names will be available. The company is looking at a very attractive player salary bill per team that will rival other leagues around the world outside of the IPL.
Why will this attempt succeed where other attempts in SA have not?
The parties have invested significant sums of money into the joint venture. Governance and commercial sustainability are priorities for the board of this new entity. All successful leagues are underpinned by strong domestic TV rights deals, which has been secured for this property.
Do you anticipate SA’s stars playing?
Very much so. There is ample talent from which to assemble franchises.