Financial backing and player strength could make the difference for SA20January 10, 2023
The SA20 tournament that starts in Cape Town on Tuesday evening is South Africa’s third attempt at a prestigious international T20 league, following the Global T20 League and the Mzansi Super League which, if you dissected them, lacked the financial backing and player strength that this new version does have.
All six teams have been bought by powerful IPL franchises and SuperSport are not only the host broadcasters but also have a 30% stake in the league. And the player rosters boast international superstars like Jason Holder, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Rashid Khan, Jos Buttler, Kusal Mendis, Adil Rashid and Jason Roy.
ALSO READ: Excellent build-up for SA20 league kicking off next week
Former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis, who will lead the Joburg Super Kings, has seen T20 leagues around the world and he is sure Cricket South Africa have hit the target this time.
“Having been around for a while, I understand the importance of this league and it is going to be great for all of South African cricket,” Du Plessis said at the JSK launch at the Wanderers at the weekend.
“CSA need this for the opportunity it will give local players to rub shoulders with the best players in the world and also to work with franchises like Chennai Super Kings and see just why they are so successful.
“To get this product to where it is now, they’ve got the best players and TV networks and sponsors from around the world. Moving forward, more international players will want to come here.
“We have an amazing country, but before the tournaments weren’t strong enough to pull the best international players in. It’s also very important that all our national team players are involved,” Du Plessis said.
The opening match at Newlands will see the two teams based in the Western Cape – MI Cape Town and the Paarl Royals – clash at Newlands. They are both expected to make decent tilts at the inaugural SA20 title and the game should be a fascinating match-up between the powerful MI Cape Town attack and the strong Paarl batting.
Although Kagiso Rabada probably won’t play as he has just returned from Australia, the Cape Town attack will still be spearheaded by Archer, Curran and Rashid, while West Indian Odean Smith could also feature as a highly-rated T20 bowler who was bought at his base price of R1.75 million, the highest minimum amount of the auction.
The Royals batting is full of attacking strokeplayers like Buttler, David Miller, Roy and Eoin Morgan, while Tabraiz Shamsi will lead their bowling.
READ MORE: Who, where and when – All you need to know about the SA20 league