Reliance, RPSG, Sun TV, CSK, Royals Sports Group and JSW Sports, owners of six Indian Premier League franchises, have already emerged as successful bidders for the T20 competition in South Africa. In a press release, Cricket South Africa announced that the IPL franchise owners in Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Rajasthan and Delhi now have South Africa T20 teams from Cape Town, Durban, Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth), Johannesburg. Paarl and Pretoria.
An open bidding process managed by Deloitte Corporate Finance attracted more than 29 bidders to purchase the franchise. More than 10 locations were made available to those interested in the franchise, six of which were ultimately shortlisted.
The first reports have emerged of IPL owners looking to invest in a new league in South Africa. The confirmation of the same propels the game of cricket into a new era with a strong ownership footprint in India. The UAE T20 league already has five of its six franchise owners in India, three of which have IPL teams. The owners of Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals have already invested in the Caribbean Premier League.
Former South African captain and CSA boss Graeme Smith, who will take over as commissioner of the new league, expressed his excitement about the new start.
“This is truly an exciting time for South African cricket; the overwhelming interest shows that the country remains valued in the global cricketing eco-system,” he said.
“The strong sports background of the respective owners and the global brands they manage ensures that South African cricket and the broader industry will benefit from their expertise and resources, as they bring stability and experience to the League.”
Reliance Industries Limited is a well-known company in the sports environment and has already acquired a franchise in the UAE T20 League, its third T20 franchise in three countries.
"We are thrilled to bring Mumbai's fearless and fun cricket market to South Africa, a country that loves cricket as much as we do in India," said Reliance Industries CEO Nita Ambani. said in a recent press release.
"South Africa has a strong ecosystem of the game and we look forward to exploring the strength and potential of this partnership. As MI's global cricket footprint grows, we will remain committed to spreading joy and excitement through sport!"