CSA T20 League: Du Plessis joins CSK-owned Johannesburg franchise
South African cricketer Faf du Plessis has signed up for the Chennai Super Kings-owned Johannesburg franchise for the inaugural edition of the CSA T20 League. As per Cricbuzz, the 38-year-old is one of their marquee signings in the tourney. Interestingly, English all-rounder Moeen Ali has also been acquired by the franchise. The tournament is likely to start next year in January-February. Here's more.
- In July, CSA announced the launch of a new franchise-based T20 league in association with broadcaster SuperSport.
- The new tournament comes as another effort from CSA to popularize franchise-based T20 cricket in the country.
- Several star players from around the world are expected to take part in the tournament.
- Wednesday (August 10) was the deadline for the direct acquisition of the players.
It was reported that the Indian Premier League (IPL) team owners have acquired the six CSA T20 league franchises - Mukesh Ambani (Mumbai Indians), N Srinivasan (Chennai Super Kings), Parth Jindal (Delhi Capitals), the Marans (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Sanjiv Goenka (Lucknow Super Giants), and Manoj Badale (Rajasthan Royals). MI: Cape Town, CSK: Johannesburg, DC: Pretoria Capitals, LSG: Durban, SRH: Port Elizabeth, and RR: Paarl.
Du Plessis was a part of the Super Kings from 2011-21, barring IPL 2016-17, wherein CSK faced suspension. The four-time winners couldn't retain the former in the 2022 auction, eventually losing him to RCB. Moeen was also among the list of marquee players set to feature in the UAE League (ILT20). However, he has decided to opt for the yet unnamed CSA T20 tournament.
Pretoria and Port Elizabeth franchises, owned by DC and SRH, have retained their IPL stars - Anrich Nortje and Aiden Markram, respectively. Jos Buttler (Paarl) and Quinton de Kock (Durban) have joined hands with Paarl (RR) and Durban (LSG), respectively.
The CSA league has asked the franchises to submit a list of five players for the first group. The principle followed would be one South African, three foreigners with not more than two from the same country, and an uncapped player. MI Cape Town's first group of players includes Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Kagiso Rabada, Rashid Khan, and Dewald Brevis.
Like CSA, the UAE has also announced its new T20 tournament, the International League T20. The UAE league is also scheduled to begin in January next year. It recently released a list of marquee players who are expected to feature in the tournament. The names include Andre Russell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Alex Hales, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Jordan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Six teams will face each other twice in a round-robin stage before the top three progress to the playoffs. Overall, 33 games will be contested over a period of nearly four weeks. A player auction will take place at a later date, while the tournament will be held in January every year. Former South African captain Graeme Smith was named the league's commissioner.