The Durban Qalandars have run out of patience and will file court papers to protect their interests in any T20 league established by Cricket South Africa.
The Qalandars were one of eight franchises that had bought into the Global T20 League, only to see it abandoned last year as an unviable operation. When a new T20 plan was launched this year, the franchises were excluded in favour of a sharing with SuperSport.
Durban Qalandars CEO Sameen Rana has confirmed that he has instructed his legal team to file papers in court, saying CSA had given him no option. The final straw seems to be a letter sent to Rana by CSA, which left the investors with more unanswered questions and no clarity.
‘I don’t know if they wanted to buy time coming up with these type of letters. I don’t want to waste my time anymore, this was not my preferred option. I wanted to discuss and finalize these things through negotiations but it doesn’t seem the CSA team understand our point of view. I have no other option except to go the court,’ he told EWN Sport.
‘The letter they sent me [on Tuesday night] is really disappointing. They probably do not understand the basic law, they do not know what they are doing, they do not know what direction they’re going and they do not have the courtesy to communicate appropriately.
‘I believe they [CSA] lack the ability to manage a global investor. Their understanding of franchise cricket and the league is pretty basic. They need to understand that people who commit $50 million are not joking, it’s big money.
‘They need to be more respectful in terms of communicating, or at least be clear in the communication of what they want to achieve.’
The Pretoria Mavericks and Nelson Mandela Bay Stars owners are also considering legal action to ensure they take part in the new T20 league, which already has been reduced from eight to six teams. It is due to launch in November.
While CSA CEO Thabang Moroe indicated that the new rebranded T20 League would go ahead as planned, Rana believes that this is almost impossible both logistically and legally.
‘By this time last year, we had the draft done, we had the venues, fixtures done, we had everything done. There are no teams, no players. I don’t think they can do it in such a short time because there are multiple factors.’
The frustration of the various owners and investors will be spilling into court and this could potentially be bad news for an already beleaguered CSA, who will brace themselves for a costly legal battle with franchise owners who have deep pockets.