T20 Global League team owners exploring legal option, says Sethi
The T20 Global League (T20GL) team owners are left with no option but to knock at the doors of the courts, according to Ajay Sethi, owner of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars franchise.
Last year, Cricket South Africa announced the T20GL with big names in Indian Premier League (IPL) buying teams in the proposed league, which was the brain child of the then CSA CEO Haroon Logard. Dubai-based Sethi was one of the eight team owners along with India's Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta and the GMR Group from India, which owns the Delhi Daredevils.
Javed Afridi, owner of Peshawar Zalmi in Pakistan Super League had also bought a team in partnership with Khaleej Times Director Suhail Galadari.
The league couldn't take off due to lack of broadcast partners and Logart stepped down as the CSA CEO. Now, CSA are trying to revive the T20 League but have remained evasive regarding the eight franchises and their status while reviving the T20GL.
A team of CSA representatives held a meeting with some of the franchise owners in Mumbai last week. The meeting was attended by the owners and representatives of Nelson Mandela Bay Stars, Durban Qalandars, Joburg Giants, Stellenbosch Kings and Pretoria Mavericks.
"It's evident after our meeting that there is no interest by the CSA Leadership to go ahead with the T20GL in its original format," Sethi told Khaleej Times.
"They have continuously changed their position and have shown no interest in working with the current T20GL owners. We now strongly feel they don't wish to fulfill their commitment towards the owners," believes Sethi.
"The owners have no option but to consider all legal options to protect our interests," he reckons.
"All owners were awarded perpetual ownerships of teams," informs Sethi, who is a Chairman of the Dubai-based Channel 2 Group Corporation. "All owners fulfilled their obligations. The T20GL was postponed without keeping owners fully in the loop," he added.
"We are extremely disappointed and angered by the unethical behavior of the CSA leadership," Sethi said.
The statement given by the new CSA CEO, Thabang Moroe, to Indian media strengthened suspicion of Sethi and other owners that the CSA may leave them in a lurch. He said that CSA was committed to stage the league later this year.
"The tournament, however, will be structurally different from its predecessor and will have a new name," he told Indian magazine Sportstar in Mumbai on Saturday.
Moroe revealed that the new league will feature six franchises (two less) and there will be an independent draft process. "This league is different from the last. The six teams will be selected through an independent draft," he told Sportstar.
He has also stressed that the franchises will be selected soon.