TELFORD VICE in Cape Town
T20 Global League (T20GL) staff have yet to be properly informed that the tournament has been postponed, Times Media has learnt.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) said on October 10 that the event, which was to have started on November 3, had been put on hold for a year.
CSA claim the T20GL will run at a loss of US$25-million — or more than half the board’s current cash reserves.
But insiders say personnel experienced in running T20 tournaments in other countries, and who had been appointed for the T20GL, have had to glean information about their fate from unofficial sources.
If they want compensation they will have to get in the queue with the players and coaches who were to have been involved in the competition and are now considering legal action.
The staff were hired by Ortus Sport and Entertainment, the company that was hawking the T20GL rights on CSA’s behalf.
CSA are in the process of negotiating a settlement to severe ties with Ortus. Sources say the company’s founder, Venu Nair, is demanding R15-million to shut up and go away.
But while Nair is talking his way into a fat payment the people his company appointed have through no fault of their own lost a job and not been told why.
T20 franchises and venues are typically staffed by small armies of functionaries who tend to work far longer hours than players or coaches, and for exponentially less money.
For instance, Royal Challengers Bangalore turned up in South Africa for the inaugural edition of the now defunct Champions League T20 sporting — according to the backs of their official shirts — a “chief podcaster” and a “chief blogger”.
But at least one tournament logistics expert smelt a rat when the T20GL, or Ortus, came calling.
“I had a feeling that this was going to happen based purely on gut,” he said. “When I was asked if I was keen to get involved I turned them down.”
He might have been spooked by the alarm bells rung by the fact that Nair registered Ortus as recently as April having had knowledge of the T20GL, and that Nair had what could be seen as an unhealthily close relationship with former CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
CSA said on September 28 that Lorgat’s contract, which was to have run until 2019, had been terminated with immediate effect.
Legal representatives of Ortus and Nair have since contested these allegations‚ and are in the process of drafting a formal complaint.