Domestic T20 'perfect' for sponsors
The T20 Challenge is not nearly as big a deal as the aborted T20 Global League (T20GL) it will replace was promised to be‚ but for the sponsors it’s “perfect”.
Ram‚ the courier company who returned as the Challenge’s title backers on Tuesday having withdrawn their support last September‚ focus their business on South Africa.
So their interest in remaining a sponsor waned when they learnt that the T20GL‚ which was to have started on November 3 and would have overshadowed the Challenge‚ would be targetted at a foreign audience.
It would also have been more expensive.
“We were told the new format would be an international event and would warrant more sponsorship and more money and we couldn’t afford it‚” David Lazarus‚ Ram Hand-to-Hand Couriers’ executive chair‚ told TimesLIVE.
“As a domestic tournament it’s perfect for us.”
And a domestic tournament is what the Challenge‚ which starts on Friday‚ will be in the wake of the T20GL being halted in its tracks.
In fact Lazarus will get more bang for his buck this time than in the four other seasons his company put their logo on the tournament because‚ unlike in previous editions‚ it will feature a full complement of South Africa’s national players.
When Ram pulled out last year TimesLIVE asked Lazarus whether the company had done so because their name was being dragged‚ through no fault of their own‚ through the mud that had gathered around the fixing scandal that afflicted the 2015-16 Challenge.
“The costs just did not warrant the investment‚” Lazarus said via email at the time.
“The issues around the past series were dealt with efficiently by CSA.”
Seven players‚ among them test caps Thami Tsolekile‚ Alviro Petersen and Lonwabo Tsotsobe‚ were banned for between two and 20 years for their involvement — although CSA have said no fixing took place.
A year on‚ Lazarus remains satisfied that the issue was handled properly: “They hired the best legal counsel and sanctions were handed out. I do not wish to be part of anything illegal.
“They’ve been transparent and I believe it’s a good opportunity to promote the brand."