SA to emulate Indian Twenty20 success

October 8th, 2008 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Oct 8 (IANS) South Africa is planning to emulate the highly lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2009, with cricket bosses from India, Australia and New Zealand already having agreed to make their players available, according to the Afrikaans weekly Rapport here.Cricket South Africa (CSA), currently undergoing a leadership crisis with the recent controversial resignation of its president, Norman Arendse, refused to confirm the possible tournament, but Rapport said it had highly reliable information that talks were already at an advanced stage with the other three nations.

CSA reportedly plans to use the same formula used very successfully by India in its inaugural IPL League earlier this year, which had fans globally glued to their TV sets. Major South African cities will get the opportunity to secure top players from across the world for their local teams.

Estimates here indicate that such a Twenty20 tournament could generate more income for South Africa than the Champions Trophy planned for India in December between South Africa’s provincial teams Titans and Dolphins; Victoria Bush Rangers and the West Australian Warriors of Australia; Middlesex from England; a Pakistani team to be announced next month; and the Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings from the host country.

An unnamed but highly-placed source told Rapport that CSA chief executive Gerald Majola has already had discussions with Cricket Australia and plans are being initiated to have the tournament as early as possible next year.

“This tournament will turn South Africa’s cricket funding on its head and (Gerald) Majola should be lauded for his attempts to make it a reality,” the source said.

“There are nonetheless still a few logistical details to be sorted out, such as the time zone in which the tournament will be hosted. The proposal will also still have to be approved by the new management of CSA (to be decided at the end of this month).”

But Majola, while confirming that he had indeed discussed the possibility of a local tournament with the Australians, told Rapport that there had not been any agreement on a Twenty20 Super Series between South Africa, Australia and India.

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