Franchise owners insist on being part of CSA's T20 event

CSA acting chief executive Thabang Moroe.
CSA acting chief executive Thabang Moroe.

Despite the mess the proposed T20 Global League (T20GL) became last year‚ the owners of the Durban Qalandars don’t want their money back from Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Instead they want their team to play in whatever replaces the competition‚ which CSA say will happen next summer in a new event that will be a departure from the T20GL‚ and they are talking to their lawyers about how to make that happen.

“While we initially welcomed the news that the delayed inaugural tournament will finally be played during November and December 2018‚ we read to our disappointment that CSA has unilaterally decided to exclude the original franchise owners from participating in the new event‚” Sameen Rana‚ the Qalandars’ chief executive‚ was quoted as saying in a release on Friday.

Rana believes CSA are‚ the release said‚ in breach “of the franchise team rights awarded by ignoring agreements and excluding all the franchise team owners”.

Which is where the expensive suits come in …

“Our lawyers will be engaging with CSA in order to get clarification regarding these new developments with a view of charting a course forward which sees Qalandars’ participation in the new event‚” Rana was quoted as saying.

“We have been waiting patiently for communication from CSA. However since the tournament was postponed last year‚ interaction between CSA and the owners has been almost nonexistent.”

The T20GL was postponed in October when CSA‚ they said then‚ discovered the tournament would cost them US$25-million in its first year‚ or more than R341-million. That figure has since been revised to around R180-million.

TMG Digital understands that seven of the eight owners of T20GL franchises have been reimbursed their deposits of US$250‚000‚ along with interest of 3.5%.

The exception are Pakistani tech company Kausar Rana Resources (KRR)‚ who already own the Lahore Qualandars of the Pakistan Super League and want to replicate their brand in Durban.

CSA sources say they have been in contact with KRR to ask for their banking details so they can pay back the money. Those details have apparently not been forthcoming.

The lack of broadcast and sponsorship deals was blamed for the original competition’s failure to launch last November‚ but CSA seemed to have turned a corner on June 8 when they said they had concluded an ownership agreement with SuperSport for an as yet unnamed T20 league.

“We have put the problems we experienced with the proposed Global T20 League [sic] behind us and look forward to hosting the new competition‚” CSA’s acting chief executive‚ Thabang Moroe‚ was quoted as saying in a June 8 release.

The propriety and practicality of a broadcaster owning a share of a competition they put on the air is open to question‚ as is why KRR are insisting on continuing to deal with an organisation‚ CSA‚ that have not delivered on their promises.

Asked at 11.52am on Friday for comment on the Qalandars’ release‚ CSA had not responded by 4.15pm.