South Africa's T20 Global Destination League can match IPL, claims AB de Villiers
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AB de Villiers has expressed excitement at Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) newly launched T20 Global Destination League. The 32-year old believes that the tournament can match up to the Indian Premier League (IPL) in terms of grandeur and standard of cricket.
“I am so excited about it. It's going to be great. Lots of credit to Cricket South Africa for coming up with that. It's vital for our cricket. It will motivate some of the youngsters to stick around, to fight it through and to play for South Africa. The domestic tournament is going to do wonders for our cricket and I think it can definitely come up (sic) an IPL when it comes to entertainment and quality of cricket. With some of the names that I have heard who are interested in coming over, it's going to be fantastic,” de Villiers said.
Extra Cover: Cricket South Africa set to launch new T20 league
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Not happy with the Ram Slam T20 tournament, CSA began to formulate plans in July last year for a revamped T20 league. The competition, which was officially launched earlier this week, will involve privately-owned franchises similar to IPL, Big Bash (BBL) and Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Going in depth
In lieu of the weakening South African Rand currency and the events set in motion by Brexit, CSA wanted to kick start a lucrative T20 tournament and prevent players from taking up Kolpak deals with various English counties. With the competition likely to attract plenty of high-profile names from across the globe, the board is eyeing massive financial benefits as well.
Although the schedule is not finalised yet, CSA are looking at this November-December to host the first edition of the league. On the flip side, such a scheduling could potentially clash with the BBL, Australian summer and India’s home season. Incidentally, India are slated to visit South Africa for a full tour during the same time period. When asked about the chances of leading Indian players participating in the league, de Villiers admitted that he was not sure of their availability yet.
Having made a successful re-integration into South Africa’s limited-overs teams, de Villiers will be eager to continue his white-ball form in the last 2 ODIs against Sri Lanka before embarking on a tour to New Zealand.
Despite plenty of domestic T20 leagues taking place in a given year, only the IPL has managed to create a reasonable window for itself. Apart from the start of the English summer, the rather lengthy cash-rich tournament does not coincide with a lot of international games.
With South Africa’s new league set to join the party, the already packed calendar could go into further chaos.