"I know I keep talking about the IPL" - Graeme Smith wants SA20 to mirror the cash-rich league in terms of talent pool

South Africa v England - 1st Test: Day 2
Graeme Smith. (Image Credits: Getty)

Former South African skipper and SA20 commissioner Graeme Smith has suggested that he wants to make the tournament as big as the Indian Premier League (IPL). Smith also hopes SA20 will end South Africa's quest for an ICC title.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) will launch the first edition of SA20 in January. Six teams - SunRisers Eastern Cape, Mumbai Indians Cape Town, Pretoria Capitals, Paarl Royals, Johannesburg Super Kings, and Durban's Super Giants - will participate in the tournament, beginning on January 10th.

During a promotional event in Mumbai, Smith claimed they have an opportunity to make SA20 the biggest league outside the IPL. The 41-year-old also highlighted the talent pool created by the IPL and thinks SA20 has the potential to achieve that.

"We want to build something vibrant and be able to build the biggest league outside India is something that we would really love to achieve," Smith said. "I know I keep talking about the IPL but you look at the amount of strong cricketers that have come through in the IPL.
"We’re looking at trying to find 15 players, hopefully, there will be 25-35 players in the next couple of years at a level where it makes the selectors’ jobs very, very difficult."
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Despite starting global tournaments as firm favorites on multiple occasions, the Proteas wilt in crunch games. It happened at the T20 World Cup 2022 as South Africa suffered a shock loss to the Netherlands in a must-win game to crash out of the tournament.

"SA20 is going to be on the big stage" - Graeme Smith

South Africa cricket team. (Credits: Getty)
South Africa cricket team. (Credits: Getty)

Smith also stated that SA20 will prepare players to face pressure situations and deal with them at global events. He expects it to make the selectors' job comfortable based on how they have thrived. He added:

"There's reasons why you've got World Cups in your cabinets. The reason is big stages, guys playing in finals and semi-finals. SA20 is going to be on the big stage as well. You're going to see youngsters."
"Guys are going to be put in situations they're not used to and that's going to be exciting to see who comes through," Smith continued. "Then once that happens, our coaches and selectors can check and select the guys who are needed for the big moments and the big events."
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The player's auction took place on September 19 and middle-order Tristan Stubbs was the most expensive player.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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