Cricket South Africa’s much-hyped flagship T20 league faces more problems after the original Global T20 owners insisted on retaining their rights to their franchises.
The CSA board is reported to be reconsidering its equity deal with SuperSport to possibly give the owners a say in the league, which is due to kick off in November.
This comes after apparently heated meetings between CSA officials and franchise owners. CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe announced in July that he was finalising details of the new competition, and would meet disgruntled franchise owners who had been dropped after the T20 Global League was abandoned last year.
Hiren Bhanu, owner of the Pretoria Mavericks told ESPNCricinfo: ‘They did not have any answers for us. But they did tell us that the deal with SuperSport is not finalised, has not been signed and no terms are agreed.’
Bhanu intends to seek an interdict against CSA to stop any new league from going ahead In June, three other owners ― the Durban Qalandars, the Bloemfontein City Blazers and the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars ― said they would also consider legal action.
CSA had arbitrarily announced that their new league would be a straight partnership between CSA and SuperSport.
Qalandars CEO Sameen Rana said in a statement: ‘As a primary stakeholder and owner of a franchise that has made a huge investment in the South African league, we are totally committed towards participating in CSA’s T20 event.
‘In view of this commitment, our deposit is still with CSA and we expect them to respect and acknowledge all our rights, but should CSA renege on the signed agreements, then we will reserve all our rights.
‘Qalandars met with the CSA delegation in Dubai and we, once again, impressed upon them our position in the most clearest of terms. We are unequivocal that in any future event, our rights must be respected and that Qalandars must be a participating team in the T20 league.’
The decisive factor in abandoning the Global League last year was the fact that they had no broadcaster, after CSA decided the new league fell outside SuperSport’s rights to broadcast all matches in South Africa.
According to ESPNCricinfo, a ninth party, Osman Osman, the minority-shareholder owner of the Mavericks, has brought separate legal action against CSA that demands an explanation of why it offered him R400,000 ($28,128) as a ‘gesture of goodwill’. Effectively, Osman wants to force CSA into a position from which it will have to disclose its legal obligations to all owners involved in the botched GLT20.
When asked for comment, a CSA spokesperson said the organisation would not make any media statements until the CEO meets with the board. There was no reaction from SuperSport.