Investment group pulls out of T20 Global League franchise
Cricket South Africa’s new T20 Global League is searching for a new franchise owner after Brimstone, an investment group in the country, withdrew its interest in the competition’s planned Stellenbosch-based team.
In a statement today, Mustaq Brey, chief executive of Brimstone, said that the company had followed a “rigorous investment process” and assessed “the risks and benefits” of acquiring a franchise before eventually deciding to drop out.
In response, the CSA said it “respects the decision by the Brimstone-led consortium” and remains “confident” that a Stellenbosch team will be involved in the competition when it begins in November of this year.
The CSA statement read: “CSA is currently evaluating other interested parties from the initial shortlist of bidders as well as new parties who have expressed interest. The process of screening and evaluating all potential owners is overseen by EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young) and all the necessary due diligence procedures remain in place. In the interim, CSA will take on the responsibility to set up the franchise.”
Haroon Lorgat, chief executive of the CSA, added: “Looking ahead, the T20 Global League is progressing according to plan, with successful workshops held in Dubai with all of the Franchise Team Owners and then back at home with all our Members.”
The T20 Global League launched in June when the eight city-based teams and their prospective owners were revealed.
Six of the eight teams were acquired by Asian bidders, with, at the time, Brimstone one of only two South African franchise owners, alongside Osman Osman’s SA Consortium, which acquired a team in Pretoria.
Existing backers of teams in the Indian Premier League and the Pakistan Super League are among the individuals and companies to have invested in the sides in the South Africa-based competition.
They include Shah Rukh Khan, the famous Bollywood actor and owner of the IPL’s Kolkata Knight Riders, who acquired the Cape Town franchise, and GMR Group, the owner of the Delhi Daredevils, which landed the Johannesburg outfit.
Fawad Rana, the managing director of Qatar Lubricants and a backer of the PSL’s Lahore Qalanders, snapped up the franchise in Durban, while Javed Afridi, the chief executive of Haier Pakistan and the man behind the Peshawar Zalmi, bought the Benoni team.
The other two successful bidders were Ajay Sethi, the Indian head of Dubai-based media group Channel 2, which will have a team in Port Elizabeth, and Sushil Kumar of Hong Kong-based City Sports, which bought the Bloemfontein franchise.
CSA claimed to have received over 150 expressions of interest in the available franchises.
The player draft for the T20 Global League will take place on 19 August.