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The Global T20 League, South Africa's franchise-based domestic T20 competition, which was to be organized next month could be postponed, ESPN Cricinfo reported. According to one franchise owner, the league, the first season of which is scheduled to kick-off on November 3 may be postponed due to several logistical challenges.
Issues ranging from broadcast deals to title sponsorship have plagued the prospects of the competition even as it was reported that broadcaster Super Sport was close to inking a deal with Cricket South Africa (CSA). The amount, though, was much lower than what CSA expected and the board stands to lose approximately $25 million, which is equal to half of the body's cash reserve.
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The successful organization of the first-of-its-kind competition in South Africa had been doubtful ever since Haroon Logart, the former CSA CEO, resigned from his post on September 28.
It was reported that Logart's relations with the board had become untenable owing to his handling of the Global T20 League which was not in synchronization with the rest of the board members. Thabang Moroe took over from Logart and is the acting CEO of the board.
One other franchise owner told ESPNcricinfo that Logart's departure had only compounded the problems and had created 'much bigger challenges' in organizing the league.
"When you know that something is not right then you should not do it. We are half-prepared and it will be a bigger disaster if we go this way," said the owner.
No owner has backed out of the tournament yet, which is a heartening sign, although it cannot be determined with certainty whether that will be the case going forward. The league has Indian participation as well, with two franchises owned by actors Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta while a third being bought by the GMR group, which owns the Delhi Daredevils.
While Khan owns the Cape Town Knight Riders, Zinta recently acquired the Stellenbosch franchise. GMR group owns the Johannesburg franchise.
Should the league be postponed this year, South Africa will have no cricket to play from November 3 onwards for the forthcoming six weeks. There is no international cricket or domestic cricket planned in November and December -- the four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting boxing day is pending ICC's approval.
The Bangladesh tour ends on October 29 and South Africa, as of now, have no cricket to play thenceforth until January, when India arrive for a three-Test series.