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Ken Borland



Smith did not need to be beeped out once so preparations are going smoothly 0

Posted on October 17, 2022 by Ken

Despite technological difficulties meaning the video for their big name reveal of the new SA 20 could not be played, the commissioner of the T20 franchise league, Graeme Smith, did not need to be beeped out once at the announcement on Wednesday, suggesting preparations are going relatively smoothly for the basket that is seemingly holding all Cricket South Africa’s eggs in the coming years.

Smith is under enormous pressure to deliver a successful T20 franchise league at CSA’s third attempt, but it seems the former Proteas captain is bringing the same cool, unruffled head as he did at the crease. In terms of time-frames, it is a bit of a T20 dash, and now that the name – SA 20 – has been unveiled, the player auction in Cape Town on September 19 will be the next big landmark.

“It’s a simple name, but something we can really own and bring to life,” Smith said. “We’re very excited by what can be done with it and what we can create. One of our taglines is For Everyone.

“Hopefully it will bring people together and new fans to the game, give them the opportunity to love cricket. Hopefully the highly-competitive cricket will stand out.

“To see it come to life is very exciting and hopefully there will be full stadiums and great excitement. We’ve had very tight timelines, just five months to get the league going, so we’ve had to be agile,” Smith said.

While there has been some debate over how star players like Rashid Khan (BBL), Moeen Ali (UAE) and Liam Livingstone (BBL) are going to meet their commitments to both the SA 20 and the other leagues they have signed for over the festive season, Smith said he is pleased with the players available for his league.

“We’ve attracted some high-quality players. Our league is South African focused – 60-70 of them playing on a global platform – but we do have extensive overseas interest, an immense number of players have registered for the auction.

“The Big Bash League will have a different structure this season and they’ve allowed players to play in Australia for a portion of the tournament. So from early January, those Big Bash players who have signed for the South African league will be fully available.

“There are a few players who have also signed for the Emirates league. I was in the UAE last week and met with the league and we’ve agreed a way to handle it – we’ve allowed the players to feel comfortable to choose where they play. There needs to be a way we both co-exist,” Smith said.

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