From now on everything will be geared around making a success of the latest 20-over franchise – it’s quite a risk
The future arrived at a quarter to three on a miserable Tuesday afternoon in January. It was ushered in live on Sky Sports Cricket by Mark Nicholas. He was at Newlands where Paarl Royals were playing the Mumbai Indians Cape Town in the first game of the new SA20. According to the league commissioner, Graeme Smith, they dropped the ‘T’ from ‘T20’ deliberately. There are a lot of these leagues out there now and, Smith said, the South Africans hoped this would help theirs stand out from the crowd. Another starts in the UAE on Friday when the Dubai Capitals play the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the opening game of the ILT20.
Indian Premier League teams have invested heavily in both competitions. They own all six of the South African sides and three of the UAE’s. Think of the new competitions like the offshoots from the CSI TV series. This was IPL: South Africa. You knew, too, because they had Table Mountain in the background.