Indian Premier League (IPL) team owners bought all of the six franchises for Cricket South Africa (CSA), South Africa’s domestic T-20 league. CSA T-20 is one of the many cricketing franchises, emerging across the globe, inspired by the IPL format.

The owners of Mumbai Indians bought the Cape Town team; the Lucknow Super Giants owners got the Durban team; the Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) team went to the owners of Sunrisers Hyderabad; the owners of Rajasthan Royals got the team based in Paarl; JSW Sports, the co-owners of Delhi Capitals, bought the Pretoria side; and Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd picked up the Johannesburg franchise.

Welcoming the Cape Town team under their proprietorship, Reliance Industries noted, “Based in Cape Town the new franchise will take forward the Mumbai Indians brand and come close on the heels of acquiring the UAE-based International League T-20 team.”

Boost sports ecosystem

According to RIL’s press note, Reliance Industries have played a crucial role in evolving the sports ecosystem through ownership of cricket franchises, football league in India, sports sponsorship, consultancy, and athlete talent management, and bringing in industry best practices.

Chennai Super Kings CEO, K.S. Viswanathan said, “We have been evaluating new opportunities across the globe over the past few years. We felt this T-20 league in South Africa will be highly competitive and it is a great opportunity for us to give back to the sport. It would also help us spot new talent. “

N Santosh, Managing Partner at Duff and Phelps, said the owners of Indian IPL teams see the acquisition of South African franchises as a move to extend their brands across the globe and give their Indian-owned franchises relevancy across the calendar year. He said, “IPL only happens for two months, but each franchise has to keep employees on retainer across the year. Acquiring franchises across the globe allows them to do the same.”

Indian Premier League is one of the most valuable sports leagues in the world. Experts note that IPL owners’ interest in CSA T-20 will only boost the brand value of the franchise.  

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