Opinion: No silver lining in T20 Global League postponement

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

Jonhenry Wilson looks at the that effects the postponement of the T20 Global League will have on South African cricket. 

The natural reaction of the South African public will be to laugh and point fingers, after the T20 Global League was postponed to November 2018. This is, indeed, a real tragedy for the game countrywide.

The Africa T20 Cup is great for semi-professional cricketers and other fringe players, but the CSA T20 Challenge has lacked wow factor and gusto for several seasons. The T20 Global League, in the nation's current cricketing landscape, would have been a welcome boost.

Alas, Tuesday's announcement means we will have to wait more than 12 months for the inaugural competition - if it manages to recover and get off the ground at all. Unfortunately, a window was created for the tournament - and now a hefty void lurks until mid-December. How CSA fill this void, if at all, is of particular intrigue.

The exact shortfalls of the build-up to the competition remain unclear, but evidently largely revolve around former CEO Haroon Lorgat's excessive spending. The signs, too, were early when Brimstone walked away from the Stellenbosch outfit and the Kings XI Punjab franchise hastily stepped in.

A lack of central sponsorship, vagaries around television rights and Lorgat's penchant for empty lip service and sneaky skirting of issues worsened matters. Renowned South African cricket journalists like Tristan Holme, Luke Alfred, Firdose Moonda and Telford Vice, no doubt, will unearth the specifics soon enough.

The South African Cricketers' Association was quick to question how those affected will be compensated. While big-ticket players should be able to fashion game time elsewhere - in the Bangladesh Premier League, etc - smaller fries will struggle. Many would have rejected other offers to compete in the T20 Global League - and will now be scratching around for arrangements far from ideal.

Plenty of emphasis now returns to the CSA T20 Challenge. Its characteristically underwhelming presence would have been tolerated in a calendar flush with the T20 Global League, but it must now take centre stage again - and tend to a hugely disappointed audience that won't be appeased by a quick fix. Initially scheduled for March next year, it may well be brought forward four months.

All this, of course, is taking place in a home season already plighted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India's fickleness. While Virat Kohli and company will eventually make it to the country, weeks after they were expected, the festive crowds are still pondering how a four-day fixture between the Proteas and Zimbabwe is being billed as a Boxing Day Test. Go figure.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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