Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced a revised franchise schedule for 2017-18 which will see CSA T20 League replace the postponed Global T20 League in November-December window which was scheduled to take place at the end of the season.
All the national players contracted with CSA will be available for this tournament, as there are no international fixtures slated during this period.
CSA’s acting Chief Executive, Thabang Moroe while addressing the media said that it would be an intriguing tournament, as all the national players will be available for selection for their respective franchises.
He further added it would be a treat for the fans in South Africa to watch their heroes battle it out before the international cricket starts with India and Australia touring Nelson Mandela’s country.
Notably, Global T20 League which was scheduled to start from November 3 got postponed to next year because of CSA’s inability to secure television broadcasting deal and media rights for the mega event.
One of the franchise owners was heard saying that Lorgat’s absence poised a much bigger challenge, as this event was a brainchild of Haroon Lorgat, the previous chief-executive of CSA who parted ways after his relationship with CSA became untenable.
However, Moroe admitted the league got postponed after discussing with the franchise owners, and the interest of the league is their priority.
It will be a learning curve for the youngsters who are pushing through the Proteas level, as they get to play alongside the best cricketers of the country in this tournament.
The tournament has been known as CSA T20 Challenge since their sponsor Ram left after a spot-fixing scandal in the 2015-16 season. The team can sign two overseas players as earlier. The number of no- South-African cricketers may saw a cap, as the Kolpak players now fall into that category.
Meanwhile, there is a change in the format, as the qualifier was struck off and replaced with two semifinal matches in a six-team event. CSA has planned double-headers at some venues which drew a substantial number of crowds in the previous years.
The final match is scheduled to be played on 16th December which is a public holiday in South Africa.