The six Indian Premier League franchise owners – Reliance, RPSG, Sun TV, CSK, Royals Sports Group, and JSW Sports – have now been confirmed as the successful bidders for the South African T20 league. According to a press release from Cricket South Africa, the franchise owners for the South Africa T20 teams in Cape Town, Durban, Gqeberha (previously known as Port Elizabeth), Johannesburg, Paarl, and Pretoria are now the owners of the Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Chennai, Rajasthan, and Delhi franchises from the IPL.
Over 29 bidders interested in purchasing a franchise participated in the open bid process, which was overseen by Deloitte Corporate Finance. Six of the more than 10 locations that were eventually nominated for franchise ownership were made available to potential buyers.
Previous rumours suggested that IPL owners would make investments in the South African league. By being confirmed, the deal ushers cricket into a new age with a significant Indian ownership imprint. Five of the six clubs in the UAE T20 league already had Indian owners, three of whom also own teams in the IPL. The owners of Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders have already made investments in the Caribbean Premier League.
Graeme Smith, a former captain of South Africa and the current head of the CSA, expressed his enthusiasm for the new league and would serve as its commissioner.
“As they add stability and experience to the league, the various owners’ strong sports backgrounds and the worldwide brands they oversee ensure that South African cricket and the industry will benefit from their skills and resources.”
Reliance Industries Limited has a history in the sports world and previously acquired a T20 franchise in the UAE, making this their third T20 franchise across three nations.
In a recent news release, Nita Ambani, director of Reliance Industries, said, “We are pleased to showcase the Mumbai Indians’ style of fearless and entertaining cricket to South Africa, a nation that loves cricket as much as we do in India.”
“South Africa has a robust sports environment, and we are eager to investigate the strength and potential of this partnership.” We are still dedicated to using sport to bring happiness and cheer to people as we expand MI’s global cricketing presence!