With little over a month left before the inaugural edition of SA20, Commissioner Graeme Smith has promised a world-class league and hopes it helps keep the international game strong back home in South Africa.
“The goal of SA20 is to get South Africa cricket back to the place we all know it belongs – competing with India, competing with the likes of England and Australia and keeping the international game strong,” said SA20 Commissioner Graeme Smith at an event with Viacom18 Sports in Mumbai.
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He added, “We have that opportunity now through the partners we have been able to attract – the six teams, we are going to put sixty to eighty of South African players on the map and bring that fandom to India and the new heroes will come to the IPL and play for South Africa all around the world – that’s out goal. We want to build something vibrant and be able to build the biggest league outside India is something that we would really love to achieve.”
Viacom18 will exclusively broadcast and stream the league in India and six teams Durban’s Super Giants, Jo’burg Super Kings, MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals, Pretoria Capitals, and Sunrisers Eastern Cape are owned by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise owners.
The popularity of South African players, who have become household names for their exploits in the Indian Premier League, with Indian fans and team ownership by IPL franchise owners will only help the SA20 get a solid platform to build upon.
“SA20 is primed to become one of the most popular T20 leagues in the world,” said Viacom18 Sports CEO Anil Jayaraj at an event celebrating the partnership. “At prime-time in India, the cricket-loving audience will watch South Africa’s most revered players along with global superstars and our presentation will match the energy and excitement that will come with it.”
The league features teams playing each other twice in a round-robin stage before the semis and final played over four weeks. MI Cape Town and neighbours Paarl Royals kickstart the tournament at Newlands on Tuesday, January 10. The opening game will be followed by Durban’s Super Giants hosting the Joburg Super Kings at Kingsmead on Wednesday, January 11.
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The SA20 will see international superstars like Quinton de Kock, Faf Du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Rashid Khan, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Maheesh Theekshana, Jason Holder in action.
The addition of the SA20 strengthens Viacom18’s portfolio of world-class sporting events, including the Indian Premier League, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™, NBA, Diamond League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and top ATP and BWF events.
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