The Indian Premier League’s most valuable player Lasith Malinga was on the short list of marquee players for the all-new South Africa T20 Global Destination League scheduled to be played later this year.
Namely, the eight marquee players were Kevin Pietersen, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Keiron Pollard, Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga. Kevin Pietersen in the only player who failed to find a place in this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League.
A mini-draft will be conducted to identify the highest bidding franchise for each player.
Despite speculations of IPL side CSK’s interest in buying a franchise, the BCCI was firm on its decision to disallow the participation of players from India.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India doesn’t allow Indians players to play in T20 leagues around the world and it is a resolution of the Board that can’t be changed now,” said BCCI CEO Rahul Johri.
However, CSK continued to keep their hopes high adhering to the side’s fanbase in South Africa.
“We have informed them about our interest. It’s the first step to take. However, we haven’t yet got the bidding documents. We had a very good fan following when the IPL happened in South Africa in 2009. But nothing has been finalized as of now and we will have a clear picture closer to the deadline (April 18) for submission of bids,” said K George John (Director CSKCL).
Meanwhile, venues Durban, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg are set to go to the highest bidders. The venue for the final on December 16th is yet to be disclosed.
Team owners have until the 28th of April to submit their proposals. Moreover, each franchise will have 17 players, four of whom will be overseas cricketers.
“We are thrilled by the caliber of the top eight international players we have lined up to participate in our new T20 League. They are all stars in their own right and will add great value to the franchise teams they will represent. This top quality list of players will set a high standard for our tournament,” said CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
“We are thrilled with the responses we are receiving from prospective team owners. No doubt this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for both bidder and city. While the level of private investment we expect will be new to South African sport, we are also very interested in the level of expertise that owners will bring to all levels of the game in South Africa,” he added.
Considering the aggressive nature of the eight marquee players, the league has already displayed a hint of its potential even before the introduction of the franchises. Furthermore, the league will most certainly expose the country’s finest young talent as the tournament progresses from stage to stage.
As we head towards the all-important player auction, the league may attract more Lankans players unless the tournament fixtures collide with the country’s international schedule. Retired batsman Kumar Sangakkara might have a go as well.
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