South Africa unveil plans for new T20 league

Faf du Plessis and AB de Villiers could be playing a T20 league at home next summer AFP

Cricket South Africa has put out a tender inviting bids for eight T20 teams that will make up its new tournament to be played in the last quarter of 2017.

The competition will be similar to other major T20 tournaments around the world such as the IPL, BBL and CPL, and will be South Africa's flagship event in the format. It will be a completely separate event from the current six-team franchise system.

CSA is seeking foreign ownership of the teams and advertisements were placed in several international newspapers, including the front pages of some Indian dailies. It is understood CSA has already received interest from several sponsors and will have the funds to lure big name internationals to compete.

Tentatively, the tournament is set for November-December with a final pencilled in for December 16, a public holiday in South Africa. The dates of the inaugural event may depend on the availability of India for a four-Test, five-ODI and three-T20 tour of South Africa scheduled for the 2017-18 summer. The schedule has not been decided but CSA is hopeful of securing India for the festive season.

That will mean South African cricket fans will enjoy their busiest summer yet, with ten home Tests and a flagship T20 tournament.

"Our vision is to drive the creation of a new #T20 destination league in South Africa that would energise the sport of cricket in South Africa by creating a global platform for the best-in-class to perform and showcase their talent to a global audience," Chris Nenzani, CSA president said.

Nenzani and CEO Haroon Lorgat informed other member countries of their plans for the tournament at the ICC meetings in Dubai this week and early indications are positive that there will be global support for the event.

"We have received a very favourable response to our plans from the ICC and member boards and look to their support in our endeavour," Nenzani said. "We now look forward to another exciting chapter in the evolution of South African cricket and to the whole game benefitting from our new #T20 Global League."