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Ken Borland

CSA and SuperSport could not turn down deep pockets and experience of IPL owners 0

Posted on August 29, 2022 by Ken

With teams like the Chennai Super Kings and the owners of the Mumbai Indians investing in South Africa’s new T20 league, sources say Cricket South Africa and SuperSport could not turn down the millions of dollars they stand to make and have awarded all six franchises to IPL bidders with deep pockets and plenty of experience in operating professional sport franchises.

CSA confirmed that the owners of the six franchises in the new league to start next January would be Mumbai Indians owners Reliance Industries (based at Newlands); RPSG Sports Private Limited, the owners of Lucknow Super Giants (Kingsmead); Sun TV Network Limited, the owners of Hyderabad Sunrisers (St George’s Park); Chennai Super Kings (Wanderers); Royals Sports Group, of Rajasthan (Boland Park) and JSW Sports, the co-owners of Delhi Capitals (SuperSport Park).

And, in keeping with the Indian Premier League being the richest cricket tournament in the world, those six investors’ bids reportedly far outstripped any other of the 20-odd Expressions of Interest CSA received. Sources say the average bid for a franchise amounted to $25 million, and nobody else could compete with those numbers.

The team owners will pay 10% of that figure per year, for 10 years. CSA get roughly half of that annual fee, amounting to $1.25 million per team, per year; and that amounts to $7.5 million per year, which, by today’s exchange rate, is a whopping R128 million per annum.

It is not exaggerating to say domestic cricket will die without that extra income allowing CSA to subsidise their vital pipeline.

Over the 10-year lifespan of these franchise deals, that will be an injection of more than a billion rand into South African cricket.

One South African cricket insider described it as “crazy money” and, with an appealing time zone in terms of the Indian market, the new T20 league should become an international brand in its own right.

It is believed the Chennai Super Kings put in an enormous $40 million bid for the Wanderers franchise, which is probably 10 times more than the leading local bidders could afford.

The compulsory local development initiatives that all bidders had to have as part of their submissions is also an appealing prospect for the domestic game. It is hoped that these IPL owners will allow the provincial structures based at the six venues to play an active role in the league, rather than just flying in and taking over the premises for a couple of months and then jetting off again.

With the Indian teams having made such a massive investment, could the South African league be the first to benefit from an allowance for current Indian players to compete in the tournament in the years to come?

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