Two IPL franchises, two PSL franchises, two South African businessmen and businessmen from Hong Kong and Dubai were announced as the team owners of the eight franchises for South Africa’s Global T20 League. Owners of Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils decided to expand their brands to the South Africa market with those of Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi doing the same from PSL.
Shah Rukh Khan, a major shareholder of the Knight Riders brand which owns T20 teams based out of Kolkata and Trinidad & Tobabo, was unveiled as the owner of the Cape Town franchise. Another outfit, GMR Sports – which owns the Delhi Daredevils team – bagged the ownership of the Johannesburg-based franchise.
Fawad Rana and Javed Afridi, owners of Qalandars and Zalmi, bagged the rights for franchises based out of Durban and Benoni respectively. Osman Osman, a South African businessman who owns a lifestyle brand and is part of a consortium, was unveiled as the owner of the Pretoria franchise. Mushtaq Brey, who runs Brimstone, was named the owner of the Stellenbosch franchise.
For Ajay Sethi and Sushil Kumar, businessmen from Dubai and Hong Kong respectively, this is not their first association with cricket. Sethi’s Channel 2, which is the audio partner of ICC, acquired the Port Elizabeth franchise. Kumar, part of City Sports which owns the City Caitak franchise in the Hong Kong T20 blitz, was named as the owner of the Bloemfontein franchise.
The marquee South African players, who were announced in April, were assigned their respective teams for the first two editions of the T20 tournament, which gets underway later this year. Pretoria bagged the services of AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis went to Stellenbosch, while David Miller and Imran Tahir were named marquee players of Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth respectively. Hashim Amla will be the face of the Durban franchise while Quinton de Kock will don the Benoni jersey.
Duminy, who’s part of the Delhi Daredevils franchise in the IPL, went to the Knight Riders camp for the South African tournament while GMR managed to retain the services of Kagiso Rabada, who also represents their franchise in the IPL.
“The announcement of the team owners is a key milestone to successfully launch our T20 Global League,” said Haroon Lorgat, Chief Executive of CSA. “We are thrilled by the international mix of owners and the passion and excitement that was clearly demonstrated during the bidding process by them and the marquee players. It sets up our #T20GL as a fans favourite in the cricketing calendar.”
“Competition was stiff, with more than 150 Expressions of Interest (EOI) received from around the world and a shortlist of heavy hitters to consider, but after rigorous discussions and engagement with each of the potential owners, we are certain that our final eight owners have the perfect combination of strategic insight and passion needed to make the first T20 Global League a complete success,” said Chris Nenzani, the CSA President.
Come August, more excitement is in store as the draft process for the Global T20 League will take place. Close to 400 players from 10 countries have expressed their interest to be part of the selection process which will be held on August 19, CSA announced.