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The T20 Global League has been postponed by CSA

The Twenty20 Global League, Cricket South Africa's much-vaunted foray into top-level T20 leagues, has been postponed after the organisation failed to overcome mounting hurdles associated with the tournament.

With less than four weeks before the first game was scheduled to be played on November 3, the organisation elected to put the tournament on hold during an emergency teleconference on Tuesday morning (October 10).

"We have not come to this decision lightly," CSA's acting chief executive Thabang Moroe said in a statement. "Having discussed it with all our stakeholders including the franchise owners, we believe that the interest of the league should be our first priority. We have re-assessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well."

The tournament attracted controversy from the outset. It was plagued by low levels of transparency, secrecy about the amounts franchise owners paid for franchise licenses and obscurity about sponsors. Most importantly, complications arose around both local and international broadcast rights deals.

These anomalies first came to light in late July, pointing out that then chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, had a non-existent relationship with Naasei Appiah, his chief financial officer. Appiah should have been central in financial arrangements and broadcast rights deals for the tournament but was cut out of negotiations completely following a breakdown between the pair late last year.

Matters weren't helped when, on the first day of South Africa's opening Test of the summer against Bangladesh, the CSA board decided to part ways with Lorgat. The tournament was being driven by Lorgat and with him no longer at the helm, reservations were expressed as to whether the competition could continue.

As recently as Friday, however, Moroe assured reporters that the tournament would go ahead as planned.

"This league will be delivered," he insisted. "We will start on November 3 as promised."

But just four days later, the first edition of the tournament was postponed and the future of the overall tournament is in jeopardy. Its postponement represents a massive setback for South African cricket, both in terms of international prestige and financially.

Hundreds of millions of Rands have already been lost, including spending on a draft, a lavish launch at the Bulgari Hotel in London's Knightsbridge and jetting across the world for the CSA inner sanctum as they hoped to close sponsorship and broadcast rights deals.

No broadcast deals have been forthcoming, making the tournament financially untenable. On Friday, Moroe had already predicted that the tournament would bring CSA a $25m loss due to a decline in projected broadcast income.

Despite reports in the South African weekend press that a local broadcast rights deal would be signed on Tuesday, matters clearly overtook CSA. Rather than a summer of T20 fun, it will be one of consolidation and mortification. With no domestic or international cricket scheduled to be played in the window created for the Global T20, CSA now have less than four weeks to come up with a contingency plan.

What will be seen in future years as Lorgat's folly has come tumbling well and truly down.

© Cricbuzz

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