• New T20 league venues confirmed

    Cricket South Africa chief executive officer Thabang Moroe has confirmed the venues for the country’s new T20 league.

    The venues are Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium, Centurion’s SuperSport Park, Durban’s Kingsmead, Port Elizabeth’s St George’s Park, Cape Town’s Newlands and Paarl’s Boland Park.

    ‘The key mandate given to all our members in applying to be a host venue was the primary goal of luring new and traditional fans, other sports fans and the wider general public to our stadia,’ said Moroe.

    ‘This process was, in fact, started some time ago when CSA embarked on a national stadium grading process of all our first-class venues.

    ‘The buzz phrase for the independent assessment was the “fan journey” which starts with the fans’ arrival at the stadium and includes the full package of transport options both to and from the stadium and traffic management, ease of access, safety and security arrangements, catering and interaction activities and opportunities specific to the fan experience.

    ‘From our observations of other T20 leagues around the world and competitions in other sporting codes, it has become clear that the fan experience is all-important.’

    Previously called the T20 Global League, prior to last year’s postponement and eventual revamp, the new tournament will be supported by the Board of Control for Cricket India.

    The BCCI boasts plenty of experience, having hosted 11 editions of the Indian Premier League since 2008.

    ‘Our research has shown us that the match-day experience is enhanced by fans “leaving their seats”, either to engage with other fans in different areas of the stadium, to partake in various sponsor and event activations or to cheer and support their favourite team or player,’ added Moroe.

    ‘We have every confidence that the plans our members have come up will enhance these expectations for the T20 league.’

    Late last month saw CSA and the South African Broadcasting Corporation announce a joint exclusive partnership agreement for the tournament.

    The partnership has afforded the SABC exclusive official broadcast rights for the sub-Saharan region and is covered by a memorandum of understanding for the next three years.

    The tournament is scheduled to start on 9 November. A player draft on 17 October will precede this.

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    Jonhenry Wilson