“We will regroup and come back stronger and better," said Thabang Moroe. © CSA

“We will regroup and come back stronger and better,” said Thabang Moroe. © CSA

In a major development, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Tuesday (October 10) that the inaugural edition of the T20 Global League (GLT20) would be postponed by a year, to November 2018.

The announcement came after a meeting between CSA and the GLT20 board, and in consultation with the franchise owners.

“We have not come to this decision lightly,” said Thabang Moroe, the acting CSA chief executive. “Having discussed it with all our stakeholders including the franchise owners, we believe that the interest of the league should be our first priority. We have re-assessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well.”

The decision was on the cards with the league having run into a lot of teething problems, including not being able to find a broadcaster or a title sponsor. That led to CSA parting ways with Haroon Lorgat, who departed as the chief executive on the first day of South Africa’s opening Test against Bangladesh, on September 29.

The league, which was to start on November 3, now leaves a big gap in South Africa’s home cricket calendar. It had been launched in a glitzy function at the Bulgari Hotel in London, immediately after the Champions Trophy 2017 had concluded.

“We will regroup and come back stronger and better. At this time, we also wish to thank all the players, sponsors, broadcast partners, SACA (South African Cricketers Association) and FICA (Federation of International Cricketers) who have committed to the project,” added Moroe. “We appreciate the continued support of the individuals and organizations who have believed in this tournament.”

CSA did have public support from franchises, with Osman Osman of the Pretoria Mavericks, saying: “Having discussed it with Mr Moroe and Mr (Chris) Nenzani (the CSA president), we have arrived at a unanimous decision to defer the inaugural edition to next year. We believe it is in the best interest of the tournament to do so.”

SACA, who Moroe thanked for committing to the project and for their continued support, viewed the development with “concern and disappointment”.

“Confirmation of postponement of the league was communicated to me in a teleconference of CSA’s Board and Members Council earlier today” said Tony Irish, the SACA chief executive. “At this stage we’re unsure of exactly what a postponement means other than the fact that it’s clear the league will not take place this year. We will be seeking clarity from CSA on the further implications.

“This has a very significant impact on a large number of local and overseas players, all of whom have signed contracts to play in the league. Some players turned down other opportunities in order to commit themselves to these contracts. We will be looking at all implications of this for players, including what compensation should be paid to them.”

As per SACA, whose president is JP Duminy, and whose executive includes other international cricketers Farhaan Behardien, Omphile Ramela and Stephen Cook (men), and Mignon du Preez (women) alongside Irish, the CSA needed to have an independent review into why the league had to be postponed.

“SACA is well aware of the fact that this will also affect various other groups including franchises, coaches and stadium owners,” said Irish. “I think it will be necessary for CSA to appoint its own independent review into what has actually transpired here as there are significant implications across South African cricket.”