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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?

SA has strong ties with France & they owned the previous World Cup there … 0

Posted on July 11, 2022 by Ken

There are ties between South Africa and France dating back to the 17th century and the arrival of the Huguenots, but relations, especially when it came to local rugby fans, were strained when the French were awarded next year’s Rugby World Cup instead of our country, which WorldRugby’s independent panel had recommended as the best option.

Nevertheless, the French were on a charm offensive in South Africa this week, the tourism boards from their southern regions welcoming potential travellers for the tournament in September/October 2023. The Springboks will be based in Toulon, the port city right on the southern tip of France.

As the visiting delegation pointed out, South Africa is a very important travel market. Studying the pre-Covid tourism figures for travel from France to South Africa, one sees a figure of 135 000 visitors per annum. And the number of South Africans visiting France is equal to that, also around 135 000.

The south of France, in particular, looks a magnificent tourist destination, combining great historical sites, stunning natural landscapes and, of course, food and wine to savour.

The Springboks owned the 2007 Rugby World Cup when it was last held in France and several of those champions – the likes of Bryan Habana, Juan Smith, Bakkies Botha, Bismarck du Plessis, Francois Steyn, Ruan Pienaar, John Smit and Victor Matfield  – have made big impressions playing for clubs in France.

And the country made a lasting impression on them.

“South Africa has extremely good ties with France, I have fond memories of playing for Clermont in 2007/8. It was beautiful and the French cities are the closest to the South African ones you will find in Europe.

“There’s the beach, bush, skiing, the wine and food, e-biking, all sorts of things to do,” Smit said at the French embassy in Pretoria.

“When I moved to France, I thought I would get away from a country where rugby is a religion, but in Toulon they just love rugby,” Matfield said. “We had 50 000 people come and watch our first training session.

“I remember the big celebration the Springboks had in Marseilles when Australia and New Zealand were knocked out of the 2007 World Cup … and then we nearly got ourselves into trouble the next day against Fiji.

“But everything is close by in France, you can go skiing and two hours later you’re in Monaco,” Matfield said.

The man of the match in the 2007 final also spoke about how organised everything was in France and how much effort the hosts put into ensuring the Springboks could travel around the country with ease.

The 2023 Springboks are going to be staying at Les Sablettes, a French Riviera peninsula into the Mediterreanean Sea with gorgeous views over the crystal-clear blue waters. They will have their own private boat to ferry them across the bay to the famous Stade Mayol, where they will be training.

South Africa are going to play two matches (v Scotland & probably Tonga) in nearby (66km) Marseilles, the oldest city in France, established 26 centuries ago!

Nice is nearly 150km away in the opposite direction and the winter resort town of European aristocracy. Known as the Queen of the Côte d’Azur, it is also a gateway to the Southern Alps.

North-west of Toulon are the vineyards and lavender fields of the Luberon, the area of Provence where Van Gogh enjoyed the most prolific time of his career. Cezanne was also a native of the area.

The Luberon was also a stronghold of the Huguenots, so many South Africans can claim to have their roots in the area. And, unless the Springboks are playing against Les Bleus, which many are tipping as the final, they can be guaranteed to have the hosts firmly behind them.

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