The advent of a brand-new T20 league being launched by Cricket South Africa is at the centre of how the game of cricket is developing (CSA).

All six of the “domestic” league’s franchises were recently purchased by owners of Indian Premier League (IPL) clubs, with play set to commence in January of the following year. One of South Africa’s and the world’s finest Test captains, Graeme Smith, is one of the guys leading the charge to create this league. 

We Are Public With Six Very Strong Team Owners Who Have Invested In The League And South African Cricket: Graeme Smith

Cricket South Africa Director Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith. (Photo: SkySports)

There is a lot going on in the world of cricket right now, and a lot of it is related to the upcoming T20 competitions. By securing six IPL franchises, finding a wonderful timeframe, and bringing on some extremely big players, South Africa has made a fantastic statement. Graeme Smith shared his perspective on this statement and said:

Yes, and we’re very excited. We’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes for a while now in setting this up. And now we’re public with six very strong team owners who’ve invested in the league and South African cricket.

“It’s not just the credibility that these team owners bring to the league that’s important, but sustainability is hugely important too for a league of this kind. The partners who’ve come on board are key to that. All of this has been very exciting for us and now it’s about delivering on the league itself.

“The pressure points for setting that all up and getting ready for January, as you can imagine, is quite extensive. We’ll be working with everybody to have it ready in time. What do we expect? For the cricket to be competitive. If that happens, the fans are going to love it and it’ll be massive.” 

South African Cricket Comes First: Graeme Smith

What also sets the SA league apart is the potential for the domestic ecosystem that South Africa already has. Graeme Smith said that the general idea is to ensure cricket begins and continues to grow at the grassroots at all times.

Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

“The key is to see what kind of a difference this league goes on to make to South Africa’s domestic circuit. The idea, not just behind what we’re doing but in general, must be to ensure cricket begins and continues to grow at the grassroots at all times. The mindset was always to make it a success in your own country.  

“We’ll be a South African league. Yes, we’ll have international talent but the majority of the players in the XI (seven) are going to be South Africans.

“So, the opportunity for them to grow, the opportunity that comes with our owners and their investments into the grassroots and the development system of South African cricket is just huge and tremendous.  

“It is a domestic product and South African cricket comes first. The global expertise coming in, by way of four overseas players in the playing XI, and these experienced franchises backing these teams, is going to benefit the growth of South African cricket, the growth of the players and the growth of the business as well.  

“It’s so important with these leagues that they do benefit the ecosystem of the country that they’re in, to develop the game and it just leaves cricket in a better place.  

“The league is a big step in that direction to make sure CSA is sustainable, that there’s an investment into the grassroots, that players back in South Africa are rewarded for their talents as well.  

No Solution Found For The Offers That CSA Made: Graeme Smith

South Africa vs Australia
South Africa vs Australia (Credits: Twitter)

When it was asked that was it true when it was reported that South Africa had “dropped out of Australia ODIs”? Or did it go deeper than what was revealed?, the former South African skipper replied that:

“Firstly, for South Africa to be out of South Africa during the prime time of the year is a massive thing. Because, commercially, that’s our prime time of the year in South Africa, the fans are on holiday, revenues are at their highest for CSA. So, for them to be in Australia during Boxing Day and New Year is something incredible.”

“Yes, we all know how it works. Unless you’re at home, you don’t get the revenues. It’s the home games that provide those revenues. The decision was taken in the best interests of our league.

“I also know that the CEO at Cricket South Africa reached out countless times to try and reach a solution with Cricket Australia over those three ODIs. We offered a number of solutions for it, which didn’t work for Cricket Australia.

“Unfortunately, things reached a point where they are now. I think there could be no solution found for the offers that CSA made.  

“I think it was months of engagements and meetings during the IPL final and I know they really tried to make it work. We have good relations with Australia, England, India, West Indies and all the boards.

“We need to work together but there needs to be an understanding that cricket in South Africa also needs sustainability, and we need to put focus on that as well.  

“The fact is people underestimate what a big call it is to be in Australia. Yes, it’s great for cricket and having played there myself in that Boxing Day and New Year’s Test match, it’s definitely exciting for the world game and CSA should be complimented for making that commitment as well.

Also Read:  South Africa League Will Become The 2nd Largest Cricket League In The World With 6 IPL Franchise Owners- Graeme Smith


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