T20GL unhappiness reaches tipping point

27 June 2018 - 17:21 By Telford Vice
Sushil Kumar during the T20 Global League Draft at Westin Hotel on August 27 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Sushil Kumar during the T20 Global League Draft at Westin Hotel on August 27 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

The level of dissatisfaction among T20 Global League (T20GL) franchise owners with Cricket South Africa (CSA) has reached tipping point.

“We are absolutely disgruntled at the way CSA had handled (or mishandled) its affairs with regard to the T20 Global League‚” the owner of the Bloem City Blazes‚ Sushil Kumar‚ was quoted as saying in a release on Wednesday.

That brings the number of owners who have slammed CSA’s handling of the inaugural edition of the T20GL to four of the total of eight.

The tournament was to have been played last November but was postponed by a year because it would lead to losses of R180-million‚ largely because of CSA’s failure to secure a broadcaster and sponsorship.

CSA have since announced that they have refunded the owners their deposits‚ and that they and SuperSport now own the tournament.

Kumar wrote that CSA’s board had been “fed false information with regards to the owners’ intentions” last February — eight months before the decision to pull the plug on the competition was taken.

“ … the board were informed that all owners wanted out‚ thus the model of private ownership was off the table. This was not true …”

The Blazes were asked who‚ as they claim‚ misled CSA’s board‚ but have yet to respond.

Kumar‚ a Singapore-based businessman‚ accused CSA of failing to engage during a visit to South Africa in May.

“No one from CSA’s executive office was ready to meet or have the courtesy to speak with us and it was quite an embarrassment for us to keep pushing CSA just for an audience having travelled all the way from our home country‚ just to resolve issues which were never caused by us.”

Kumar wrote that CSA’s most recent engagement with the owners was in a teleconference on March 13‚ “where it was decided by all parties that CSA would go back to SuperSport to discuss; i) a proposal from SuperSport on the original model‚ ii) SuperSport should suggest an alternate model if not in favour of the original model‚ or iii) look at a league co-owned between CSA‚ owners and the broadcaster.

“CSA then went behind the owners back and struck a deal with SuperSport excluding the current owners and without providing any information on the above said deal.

“It was rather disappointing and very unprofessional that no-one at CSA had the decency to contact us first and make us aware of the decision that was taken.”

Asked for their response‚ CSA said they would not add to a statement they released earlier on Wednesday.

“CSA does not intend to debate the matter through the media and‚ as per our last letter to the owners‚ remain available to any party who wishes to engage in the current process of planning the tournament‚” the board said.

“CSA indicated from the offset that the key revenue streams must first be secured‚ re: broadcasting rights and potential sponsors‚ before detail of the tournament can be finalised.

“Once that have taken place engagement with other stakeholders will be possible.”