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Cricket South Africa hails interest in franchises for new T20 league

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has revealed that more than 150 prospective team owners from 10 countries have expressed an interest in owning a franchise in the governing body’s new Twenty20 competition.

The competition, which has been given the tentative name of #T20 Global Destination League, will debut in the last quarter of 2017 and will feature eight teams. A tender for the franchises was issued last month, with a March 3 deadline having been set for expressions of interest.

Thirty-nine per cent of the expressions of interest came from South Africa, with India accounting for a further 35 per cent. CSA said “significant” interest also came from the UK, USA and the UAE.

“We are very encouraged by the extent of the interest shown by potential team owners from South Africa and the rest of the world,” CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.

“We will now progress to the next stage where we will receive proposals to a tender from potential owners and then narrow down our search to a shortlist and then finally decide the eight team owners.

“Alongside the massive interest we have received from prospective team owners, I am also delighted by the interest we are receiving from star players from across the world who want to play in what will be the best #T20 Global Destination League in the world.”

Parties that have submitted expressions of interest will be contacted to acquire tender documents to proceed with the next stage of submitting their proposals. Interested persons will have until April 15 to submit bids to own one of the eight city-based teams.

Lorgat (left of picture with South Africa’s Test and T20 captain Faf du Plessis) confirmed that the tournament’s official name and logo are currently being worked on. He also said CSA would “secure the best available international players” to compete in the league alongside South Africa’s national team and domestic stars.