Business of T20 Leagues: A carnival in the making, should SA and UAE get it right | Cricket News

MUMBAI: A total of 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) trophies, three T20 Champions League trophies, over 50 million followers on social media platforms on Twitter and Instagram, mass following across the most big cricket fanbase in the world which is India, a healthy global diaspora to watch and the TV numbers crashing on the roof every time these teams step out onto the pitch.
Put all these numbers together and calculate. Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Hyderabad Sunrisers, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Supergiants have traveled to South Africa – buying franchises in the country’s upcoming T20 league – a cricket jamboree like no other in the world.

They didn’t just invest in franchises. What they have done, in effect, is take years of self-taught experience in managing cricket teams and cricket ecosystems and offer it to South Africa on the board.
“Of course they have a business to run. But imagine the volume of cricket’s ‘soft power’ that has landed in the country. What this will do for the future of cricket in South Africa in the years to come may be anyone’s imagination runs wild.” a prominent industry executive with big cricketing interests in Cape Town, TOI tells.
As the game continues to be seduced by the shorter format and league affairs continue to alter the course of the game around the world, South Africa’s cricket economy has just received an enviable blow in the arms. What this does to the game and the country moving forward can only be expected and seen.
What’s the potential, though?
“It’s something the cricket fraternity will only start to notice once these teams start their operations in South Africa. Let me give you an example. What if Mumbai Indians proposed that they would like invest in young South African talent and therefore expand their successful talent scouting program in and around Cape Town?
“Or CSK, for that matter, paint the Bullring yellow? These are hugely successful cricket clubs we’re talking about. DC, RR, SRH – they understand the business of T20 better than most. Only Shahrukh Khan’s Knight Riders could have added more charm to it all,” say those who follow these developments.
The thoughts go back to the year 2009 when the BCCI moved the IPL to South Africa following the holding of general elections in India at the time. ‘Bollywood’ parading through the streets around Sandton made a heavy cocktail and the tournament turned out to be carnival like never before.
“That ‘Bollywood’ is missing. But there is no shortage of serious cricketing business that should be established here,” says a South African cricket industry executive.
The country is eagerly awaiting the changing momentum even as Cricket South Africa (CSA) gets busy recruiting players globally. “It is said that Graeme Smith hasn’t kept his phone off all week. He literally burns midnight oil by calling the players himself. Of course, there are very capable people who know this business well and who help him in his efforts,” he said. said.
Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan, Jason Roy, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Tymal Mills of England; Jason Holder, Alzari Joseph, Obed McCoy, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Harry Tector – the names are already on board alongside every South African cricketer worthy of his presence. And the signings won’t stop there.
Cricket Australia (CA) has taken a call to hand out new Big Bash League (BBL) contracts to its top cricketers, including David Warner, pat cummins, Mitchell Starc and Steven Smith among others. But insiders say “CSA isn’t complaining much right now.”

Quicksand in the Emirates
As South Africa scrambles to realign its cricketing priorities, the United Arab Emirates, with the support of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), is also wasting no time.
While the league is still in the process of defining its hiring policies for players – in terms of how many names can be directly recruited by franchises and how many must be contracted centrally – teams have already started inviting their players. IPL to board.
GMR signed with Shimron Hetmeyer and Rovman Powell. The Knight Riders roped Sunil Narine and Andre Russell.
And more signings are on the way with sources saying ‘the coming week will see a lot of action wrap up’.
What works for the UAE T20 league is also quite unique. For starters, India-like conditions will allow the league to be a sort of precursor to the IPL, if played just before the Indian T20 league.

There is more. With the Emirates Cricket Board listing their ownership as an “international” T20 league and the franchises having to recruit nine foreign players into their XI, the decision allows teams to seek talent all over the world and not just the relatively popular full members.
“There are 96 countries to choose from. These are all countries that play cricket and there is no shortage of talent. Having them participate alongside big names and proven professionals will not only help develop the game at grassroots level in the Emirates , but will also allow these participating nations to benefit from the growing popularity of their own future stars,” say those working to create this league.
And to wrap it up, the UAE T20 property has Shahrukh Khan on board – Dubai’s global ambassador, a movie star with immense charm to draw fans on board and certainly one of IPL’s most popular icons and owner of the team.
– This article is the third in a four-part series on the changing landscape of cricket.

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