TELFORD VICE in Cape Town
CHRIS Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Kevin Pietersen will be the headline acts of Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) inaugural #T20 Global Destination League next summer.
In a release on Thursday CSA named what it called eight “marquee” players – one for each of the proposed franchises.
The others are Dwayne Bravo, Lasith Malinga, Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard and Jason Roy.
If those names sound familiar beyond their individual merit it could be because these players have become part of the furniture in ever more similar T20 events around the world.
Between them Gayle, McCullum and Pietersen have played 574 matches in the format for 41 teams other than their national sides.
T20 was devised as cricket’s way of staying relevant in a changing world, but the revolving door of usual suspects has contributed to the staleness that could rob the format of its original edge.
It can seem to cricket consumers that all that changes from one T20 tournament to the next are the venues and the names of the teams.
CSA’s challenge is to buck that trend and offer its audience something better than just another boundary bonanza propped up by the same old faces.
For CSA the tournament is an opportunity to bolster revenue, blood more players at a prominent level, and dissuade them from opting to further their careers in other countries rather than at home.
Who among the eight named on Thursday goes where will be determined by who among the franchise owners has paid how much for that honour: the highest bidder will have the first choice, and so on and so forth down the line.
“The high level of interest from players and sponsors to participate in our league is proof of the great attraction of South Africa as a global destination,” the release quoted CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat as saying.