Columnists 23.8.2017 06:00 pm

Geoff Toyana’s treatment only adds to CSA’s T20 farce

Geoff Toyana, despite superior coaching experience, is Graeme Smith's deputy at Benoni Zalmi. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Geoff Toyana, despite superior coaching experience, is Graeme Smith's deputy at Benoni Zalmi. Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images.

Ever since the T20 Global League was conceived, it looked like a money-spinner. Now we have confirmation on that.

Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) T20 Global League is nothing more than a shameless money-making scheme.

If there was any doubt about that, those thoughts evaporated when Geoff Toyana was made assistant to Graeme Smith at the Benoni Zalmi franchise.

We’ll get to that.

Also read: CSA’s new T20 league is already raising a nasty stink

To their (dubious) credit, CSA have at least never really pretended that this new tournament – scheduled for November to mid-December – is a development tool.

Even so, it’s truly disappointing how any cricketing sense has flown out of the window since this razzmatazz was conceived.

We’re now (hopefully) well aware that good corporate governance is very low on CSA’s agenda.

There have been reports of franchise contracts not being signed and deposits still having to be paid.

Brimstone Investments, who were one of only two local owners, walked away after further due dilligence.

It’s understood they were under the impression that they would be a minority shareholder and not a major one, which is a weird thing to realise only after you’ve been unveiled as an investor.

Did they misunderstand CSA’s prospectus?

Given the rushed nature of the submissions of interest, it’s possible.

But the timing of Brimstone’s withdrawal will raise eyebrows.

To compound things, there are also question marks over CSA handing the agency of the tournament’s broadcasting rights to a company, Ortus Sport & Entertainment, that was only registered in April.

However, in this glitzy world of T20 cricket, these things don’t seem to matter.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a perfect example as it has pretty much been controversial since it started.

There have been ownership scandals and match-fixing debacles.

The most important stakeholders – the fans – couldn’t be bothered and the IPL is still as popular as ever.

We shouldn’t be so complacent.

In fact, when it comes to Toyana, we should be outraged.

Also read: Captain ‘Biff’ becomes coach ‘Biff’ for Benoni Zalmi

The Highveld Lions coach has a a tough month or so.

From being considered the favourite to replace Russell Domingo, he’s now merely a possible assistant to West Indian Ottis Gibson.

And on Monday, he suffered the ignominy of being appointed Smith’s deputy for the Benoni franchise.

It’s a stinker by all means.

Toyana has been a franchise coach since mid-2012 and has won four trophies.

Working with potentially high-profile names in the T20 League would’ve been an ideal stepping stone.

Javed Afridi, the franchise’s owner, couldn’t care less.

He’d rather pick Smith, who has no formal coaching experience, because the former Proteas skipper is a “name”.

It’s all about glitzy perceptions and possible enrichment of business elites who don’t truly have cricket’s interest at heart.

Meanwhile, honest men like Toyana and local administrators, who still keep the broader picture in mind, are sidelined and silenced.

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