Because of the Global League’s planned T20 League set for November, there has been no international or domestic cricket planned for that month or the better part of December this year. In a shocking turn of events, however, the T20 Global League has now been delayed for one year, and this could well see a spate of players seeking compensation. Franchise owners will also be affected, and it remains uncertain how the legalities of this decision will be dealt with.
Lack of Funds to Blame
The announcement was made on Tuesday, just four days after Chris Nenzani, the president of the CSA, informed the media that the League would be going ahead but looked likely to lose money over the first two seasons. It was also 12 days after the surprise announcement that the CSA and Haroon Lorgat, chief negotiator and executive for the League, had decided to part ways.
The League was scheduled to begin on the 3rd of November 2017, but has now shifted to November of next year. It was intended to be the South African answer to Australia’s Big Bash League and the Premier League in India, but no broadcasting deals or title sponsorships were secured. Nenzani and Thabang Moroe, acting chief executive, confirmed as much at a media briefing held on Friday.
A Decision Made After Careful Consideration
As disappointing as this decision may be to the punters making use of the online betting NZ makes available for cricket fans, it seems to be final. The CSA’s statement, released on Tuesday, quoted Moroe’s remarks, which stated that the decision had been a difficult one. He went on to say that the matter had been discussed with stakeholders and franchise owners, and that this postponement was for the good of all. He added that strategy had been reassessed, and that it was the CSA’s firm belief that delaying the South African T20 League until next year would serve everyone best.
The Effect on Player Contracts Unclear
A number of international cricket players have already been signed up for the League, including Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, and Brendon McCullum, as well as several of South Africa’s best cricketers. It is not clear how this delay will affect their contracts as they have passed all necessary fitness tests and are ready to play.
The Organisers have Run Out of Time
Moroe later stated at a press conference that the CSA’s going ahead would have been reckless. He explained that the model that had been developed, and agreed upon with the owners, was unworkable because of time constraints, and the League would be undeliverable at this point. He added that rescuing the League as matters stood now would require him dipping into the CSA coffers, and this was not possible.
Postponement at this late stage could result in the CSA facing certain legal consequences, not only from the contracted players, but the owners as well. Moroe admitted that not all of the franchise owners were in agreement with the need for a delay.