The messy legacy of the failed T20 Global League (T20GL) is now snowballing into an avalanche that threatens to engulf Cricket South Africa (CSA).
According to Cricbuzz, Hiren Bhanu, the owner of what would’ve been the Centurion-based franchise, has gone to court seeking an interdict against any T20 cricket being played at SuperSport Park.
This drastic action stems from the announcement by CSA in June that it had reached an agreement with broadcaster SuperSport to become equity partners in a new T20 tournament that effectively replaces the T20GL.
The new business model doesn’t make provision for private ownership, which is the main reason why the previous investors are revolting.
“They’ve given us no alternative – we’re going ahead and suing them,” Bhanu was quoted as saying.
“We have no choice. They are all liars.”
CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe had led two meetings with the previous franchise owners in Mumbai and Dubai at the weekend but solved nothing.
“How is it possible that former owners can get a stake later, when SuperSport are 49% partners in your new entity and you haven’t even asked their consent? It’s nonsense,” said Bhanu.
Ajay Sethi, owner of the Port Elizabeth franchise, is following a similar route.
“CSA have continuously changed their position and have shown no interest in working with the current T20GL owners,” he said.
“As owners we now have no option but to go the legal route and consider all legal options to protect our interests.”
Sushil Kumar, who fronted the bid for the Bloemfontein franchise, revealed that a tense 10 days await all the parties as CSA goes back to its relevant constituencies.
Furthermore, Cricbuzz alleges that CSA couldn’t provide owners with details on the new equity agreement between the governing body and SuperSport.
That raises questions over the truthfulness of the much-trumpeted deal in the first place.
The whole saga has already cost the federation a massive R221 million.
CSA said it wouldn’t comment until Moroe had met with the board.