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June 28, 2012
South Africa's biggest challenge in hosting this year's Champions League T20 will be to avoid a repeat of the ongoing bonus scandal, which emerged after the country hosted the IPL in 2009. Jacques Faul, CSA acting chief executive, said the board has to make sure it doesn't "get into trouble again", now that it is hosting another major event.
The financial mismanagement of the IPL three years ago is still being felt after R4.7 million (US$671,000 approx) was paid out in bonuses to 40 CSA staff for additional work done. The money was not declared through the board and when it was picked up by CSA's auditors, was found to be irregularly paid out. As a result, suspended chief executive, Gerald Majola is still awaiting a disciplinary hearing, four other staff members resigned and sponsors stayed away from the game last season, although they are starting to return.
Faul said CSA cannot afford to make the mistakes of three summers' ago again. "For us, hosting tournaments is not such a daunting task," he said. "But we must be careful. I'm not sure if there will be bonuses paid. But I'm sure that if they are paid, the correct governance procedures will be followed."
What makes this tournament different to the IPL is that there are much smaller amounts of money involved, as Faul explained. "The money to be made for is what we will make from the profits as a shareholder. There is no other fee," he said. Although stadiums will receive hosting fees, CSA will not be paid any extra money for hosting the CLT20, as was the case when they hosted the 2010 edition, which was a massive success. "The data indicated the CLT20 attendance in South Africa was the highest," Faul said.
The tournament was moved to South Africa this time because India were not able to host due to various logistical problems at the venues of their qualifying teams. "India has got a lot of venues, so they could have hosted it but the venues for the specific teams that qualified may not have been available. There is a problem for Mumbai in hosting a Pakistan team, there is a monsoon in Chennai and religious festival in Kolkata, so that only leaves Delhi," Faul said. The inclusion of a Pakistan team this time, Sialkot Stallions, is a first for the CLT20.
By contrast, South Africa have venues that are all available in that period. Although Faul said he could not confirm the venues because of CLT20 protocols, he expects that Johannesburg and Centurion are certainties because the teams based at those venues, Lions and Titans, have qualified for the event. ESPNCricinfo understands that Durban and Cape Town will be the other two host cities.
Other South African towns will also come into contention for matches because there will be a qualifying phase before the main tournament. Faul confirmed that logistics for the qualifiers are yet to be worked on. It is understood that the IPL teams and the teams of the two shareholders, South Africa and Australia, will not have to qualify.
Automatic entry into the main draw is not the only benefit of being a shareholder of the event for South Africa. The CLT20 is likely to return to the country in future because of South Africa's stake in the competition. "The broadcasting agreement says that a minimum of five of the first ten editions of the tournament must be hosted in India," Faul said. "So, India will look to offer it to us in years where their qualifying teams aren't in a good situation to host it. As for Australia, the time-zone is just not right for the broadcaster."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
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Plays of the day from the IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi