Ghosts of T20 franchises haunt Cricket South Africa
Cricket South Africa (CSA) have seen a ghost. Actually‚ heard a ghost. Two‚ in fact. And now they’re scared.
The ghouls are spooky reminders of CSA’s doomed original attempt to cash in on the world game’s T20 boom‚ and they are refusing to go quietly.
That would seem to be prompting the conciliatory noises that are emanating from CSA’s board‚ who are no doubt keen to avoid hefty legal bills on top of the R180-million the organisation lost on the T20 Global League (T20GL).
The ghosts are some of the owners of the eight phantom franchises in what never became the T20GL.
They are clanking their chains loudly‚ lawyers and all.
But CSA are trying to exorcise them as they look forward to a future not haunted by what they did — and didn’t do — last summer.
“The majority of the owners clearly indicated the important matters they wanted to be resolved‚ that being the refund of the deposits and matters re: cost incurred‚” CSA’s board said in a statement to TimesLIVE.
“We are planning to meet with the owners shortly to discuss other outstanding matters they might wish to discuss.”
CSA’s deal with SuperSport reportedly has yet to be finalised‚ but it has upset the owners enough for the board to make an albeit weak attempt to address the issue in their statement: “Discussions with SuperSport are ongoing and we will inform them [the T20GL franchise owners] of some of the future discussions with other stakeholders.”
It emerged two weeks ago that the officials behind the Pretoria Mavericks were set to take legal action against CSA for the way the latter are winding up the business of the T20GL and going about securing SuperSport as partners in a new company that will own whatever replaces the tournament.
CSA have reimbursed the Mavericks their deposit of US$250 000 but with interest of only 3% or 3.5%.
The bank lending rate is 10%.
At issue is up to R6.7-million the Mavericks’ bosses say they have spent on staff‚ logistics and taxes.
Another franchise‚ the Durban Qualandars‚ said last week they were also talking to their lawyers.
CSA have tried to reimburse them but the Qualandars don’t want their money back.
Instead they want to be part of the new competition‚ which CSA say will be played this November and December — a year after what would have been the inaugural T20GL.
Clearly‚ several skeletons are rattling around CSA’s T20 cupboard.
Laying them to rest will take skill and money.
And a good look under the bed before the relationship with SuperSport is consummated.