New CSA chief sets eyes on reviving the postponed T20 league

Cricket South Africa’s newly-appointed CEO Thabang Moroe has committed himself towards reviving the postponed T20 league, which failed to launch last year and drew a lot of flak in addition to genuine legal threats for the board. Moroe, who’s been in an acting capacity since September last year, now takes up the job full time, and has been appointed for a three-year term.

“It has been a lot of hard work trying to revive the postponed T20 league,” Moreo said in his first press briefing after assuming charge. “We are changing it and we have signed an equity model with SuperSport. We have sold the broadcast right to SuperSport. We will announce all the other commercial deals as far as sponsorship of the league is concerned in due course.”

Moroe admitted a trust deficit with the owners of the failed T20 league, who have felt left out in the board’s negotiations to resuscitate the league, with some of them even threatening a legal route to retrieve their investment.

“There are issues of trust,” Moroe confessed. “You can pick that up in terms of what the previous owners have been saying. The only way to bridge that gap is to sit down and talk face-to-face. As far as them getting involved is concerned, our stance is pretty clear, together with SuperSport.

“We want to work this thing from the ground up, we want to build it up, build a certain level of value so that when the opportunity comes for equity – whether it be selling our own equity as far as ownership of the entire league is concerned, or equity in the form of purchasing teams – then we know what it is that we are selling and we know the right value and we know how people are going to make their monies back because these people are investing.”

It looks likely now that the ex owners will be a part of the league version 2.0 but the extent and the nature of their involvement will be clear only once CSA have laid down all the major markers to set the league in motion.

“Until we get to the point of knowing how much it is going to cost to run a team here in South Africa, how much you are going to get from a sponsorship, what you should be paying from a stadium hosting point of view, what is it that you are going to give CSA in terms of a license, we can’t give that entire picture,” Moroe said. “Should that opportunity arise, we will be looking to sell equity in teams and we will try and get owners involved. This is, after all, the necessary processes of vetting and due diligence.”

Apart from establishing a domestic T20 league that competes with the best, Moroe also has the board’s financial status high on his agenda.

“The one mandate was to make sure the next four-year cycle, which is in a loss-making cycle of R800 million (USD 60.3 million), make sure I bring that to below R500 million (USD 37.7 million),” Moroe said. “Luckily, through relationships I have built, we have managed to reduce that loss by over R400 million (USD 30.15 million), so CSA are looking good.”

CSA will host Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka during their 2018-19 home season, which is further set to challenge Moroe’s goals to reduce the losses the board makes regularly.

“The personal target I have set myself is to totally scrap that loss. I think that is possible. I would like to leave CSA in a healthy financial situation,” Moroe said.

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