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CRICKET

Inaugural T20 Global League postponed until next year

The competition was due to kick off next month, but was pushed back after organisers failed to overcome mounting difficulties.

Update:
Inaugural T20 Global League postponed until next year
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Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Tuesday that the inaugural edition of the T20 Global League has been postponed until November 2018.

The six-week tournament, which was due to feature eight teams, was scheduled to run from November 3 to December 16.

The chief reasons for the postponement are the failure to secure a suitable domestic TV deal and the lack of a central title sponsor for the tournament.

According to Cricbuzz, CSA elected to put the tournament on hold during an emergency teleconference on Tuesday morning.

"We have not come to this decision lightly," CSA's acting chief executive Thabang Moroe said in a statement. "Having discussed it with all our stakeholders including the franchise owners, we believe that the interest of the league should be our first priority. We have re-assessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well."

Logistical challenges

Last Friday, Moroe had insisted that the tournament would go ahead as planned. "This league will be delivered," he asserted. "We will start on November 3 as promised."

However, the League is still looking for a title sponsor, while no broadcast deals have so far been established.

South African television channel SuperSport were thought to be close to reaching an agreement with the CSA, but the arrangement didn’t happen.

Without a broadcast deal, the board was set to suffer heavy financial losses.

According to ESPNCricinfo, Moroe admitted last week that the CSA was preparing for a net loss of US $25 million (approx. R342.58 million) from the inaugural edition of the Global League.

Thabang Moroe took over from Haroon Lorgat, who parted ways with CSA on September 28, after his relationship with the organisation reached breaking point.

Lorgat was the main man behind the Global T20 League. However, after lots of questions arose about the tournament, pressure mounted on the former CEO.

Gap in South African cricket calendar

The postponement of the T20 Global League leaves a big hole in the South African cricket calendar.

The CSA had reserved six weeks in the peak of summer, but this postponement means that there will be no domestic or international action for that period.

After South Africa’s upcoming four-day match against Zimbabwe, there is a chance that the country won’t enjoy any cricket between October and December.

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