(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who now serves as the commissioner of the SA20 league, expressed his ambition for the competition to become the largest T20 league outside of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Smith highlighted the significant impact the IPL has had on producing generational T20 stars and stated that SA20 aims to follow a similar trajectory.
"Our ambition is to be the biggest league outside India," Smith stated ahead of the second season's auction. The SA20 league consists of six franchises, all owned by IPL team owners, including MI Cape Town, Joburg Super Kings, Durban Super Giants, Paarl Royals, Pretoria Capitals, and Sunrisers Eastern Cape.
Smith praised the IPL's role in developing cricket talent, both nationally and internationally, and expressed a desire to replicate such success. He emphasized the importance of the first season of SA20, where young talents and established stars played alongside each other and gained exposure to global best practices, coaching, and medical advice.
Regarding the salary cap, Smith noted that SA20 currently maintains a salary cap of USD 2.3 million, providing competitive compensation for players. When asked about potential changes to the salary cap, Smith affirmed that the current cap allows the league to attract quality players effectively.
Smith emphasised the positive impact of SA20 on South African cricket, with Season 1 exceeding expectations and helping to generate excitement among fans. He highlighted the outstanding cricket played in the league's inaugural season and the opportunity it provides to promote local talent.
In Season 2, franchises can purchase up to 15 players, including six uncapped players, which can aid in nurturing South African talent for the national team's future. However, the absence of current BCCI-contracted players from other leagues means limited Indian presence in the SA20 auction, with retired veteran Robin Uthappa being an exception. Smith expressed respect for the BCCI's decision and maintained open communication with the Indian board, expressing hope for potential changes in the future.
The SA20 league, under Graeme Smith's leadership, aspires to continue its growth and contribute positively to South African cricket.
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