South Africa's new T20 League: Focus on AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers will be the cynosure of all eyes when the new South African T20 League kicks off from Friday. The star player will be leading Tshwane Spartans, which play the opener against Cape Town Blitz. The celebrated cricketer, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, will be raring to have a crack in domestic T20s. Here is more.
Fans hope AB will provide the fireworks
Fans will hope that AB de Villiers comes out all guns blazing. Recently, AB hit 93 off just 31 balls in a warm-up encounter against Jozi Stars. He is likely to light up the league with his effortless hitting.
Not much buzz surrounding the league
There is not much buzz surrounding the league, given that many superstars are busy with their international duties. The month-long league is set to go underway barely a month after the official launch. The Mzansi Super League doesn't have a title sponsor and many Proteas players will miss the initial matches. It will have free-to-air coverage to boost the popularity of the game.
Global T20 league returns after a year
The South African board couldn't organize the Global T20 league, last year. This, in turn, hurt Cricket South Africa, which had to pay compensation packages to 144 contracted players. An estimated $14 million was lost by the board. Now the board is all set to host the first edition of the tournament. The venues were decided via a bidding process.
All you need to know about the league
Each team will have 16 players in their squad with a maximum of 4 foreigners. SA players, who have signed Kolpak contracts in England, will be treated as foreigners. The six-team tournament will have 30 league matches, followed by an eliminator and a final. Cape Town Blitz, Durban Heat, Jozi Stars, Paarl Rocks, Nelson Mandela Bay Giants and Tshwane Spartans are the 6 teams.
League to be telecast live in India
The league will be telecast live in India. The matches will be shown on the Sony Ten Network. The play-offs and the final will be shown live as well. A total of 32 matches will be played that includes the final on December 18.