South Africa has emerged as the preferred host for a possible World T20 that looks increasingly likely to next be hosted in 2018.
Reports indicate that Star Sports, the major player in Indian sports broadcasting, are in talks with the International Cricket Council (ICC) about buying the rights to two additional World T20s, in 2018 and 2022. The ICC, having seen the success of the 2016 World T20, are keen to maximise its popularity by staging the event every two years instead of every four.
And South Africa, because of its location, is a prime candidate to stage in 2018 in September and early October, and it’s understood that countries like Australia, New Zealand and West Indies have been ruled out because of the issue with convenient time zones in relation to India.
‘Of course we would be delighted to host any major ICC event,’ Cricket SA (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat told ESPNcricinfo. ‘We have proven in the past what a perfect destination South Africa is.’
CSA confirmed the above, with an official saying there was nothing to add at the moment.
The obvious question is: What will the Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, say?
Back in April, the minister caused widespread controversy when he named CSA as one of four federations who had not met their transformation targets and would therefore be banned from bidding for, or hosting, international events.
‘I have resolved to revoke the privilege of Athletics South Africa, CSA, Netball South Africa and South African Rugby to host and bid for major and mega international tournaments in the Republic of South Africa as a consequence of the aforementioned federations, not meeting their own set transformation targets with immediate effect,’ Mbalula said during the release of the Eminent Persons Group on Transformation in Sport in Pretoria.
‘I will review this decision when considering the results of the 2016/2017 Transformation Barometer.’
The minister could not be reached for comment on the latest developments.
However, the report on Cricinfo went on to say: ‘CSA is working with the government to resolve its issues, and it is believed that the ban on bidding to host world events could be reviewed after the municipal elections in South Africa in August.’
Should South Africa not be given the go-ahead to host a potential World T20 in 2018 then the next preferred option would be in the United Arab Emirates.