With just over a month to go before the inaugural edition of the SA20, commissioner Graeme Smith has promised a world-class league and hopes it will help keep the international game going strong back home in South Africa.
SA20 Commissioner Graeme Smith said at an event with Viacom 18 sports in Mumbai.
He added: “We have this opportunity now with the partners that we’ve been able to attract – the six teams, we’re going to put sixty to eighty South African players on the map and bring that fanbase to India And the new champions will come to the IPL and play for South Africa all over the world – that’s the goal. We want to build something vibrant and be able to build the biggest league outside of India which is something we would really like to achieve.”
Viacom18 will exclusively broadcast and stream the league in India and six Durban’s Super Giants, Jo’burg Super Kings, MI Cape Town, Paarl Royals, Pretoria Capitals and Eastern Cape Sunrisers are owned by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisees.
The popularity of the South African players, who have become household names for their exploits in the Indian Premier League, with Indian fans and the ownership of the team by IPL franchise owners, will help SA20 have a solid platform to build on.
“SA20 is poised to become one of the most prestigious T20 leagues in the world,” said Viacom18 Sports CEO Anil Jayaraj at an event celebrating the partnership. “At primetime in India, the cricket-loving audience will see South Africa’s most respected players alongside international stars and our presentation will match the energy and excitement that will go with it.”
The league features teams playing each other twice in the semi-final stage and the final played over four weeks. MI Cape Town and neighbors Paarl Royals kick off the tournament at Newlands on Tuesday 10 January and the opener will be followed by the Durban Super Giants hosting the Joburg Super Kings at Kingsmead on Wednesday 11 January.
SA20 will feature international stars such as Quinton De Kock, Fav du Plessis, Kagisu Rabada, David Miller, Anrish Norte, Rashid Khan, Joss Butler, Owen Morgan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Liam Livingston, Mahesh Thicksana, Jason Holder.
The addition of SA20 strengthens Viacom18’s portfolio of world-class sporting events, including the Indian Premier League, FIFA Globalism Qatar Cup 2022™, NBA, Diamond League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, and major ATP and BWF events.