IPL team owners buy SA T20 league franchises
Indian Premier League team owners have bought all six franchises of South Africa's new domestic T20 league, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said on Wednesday, underlining IPL's expanding global footprint.
Reliance Industries Limited, which owns IPL's most successful team Mumbai Indians, bought the Newlands franchise of the league which is scheduled to get underway in January next year.
The owners of IPL heavyweight Chennai Super Kings purchased the Johannesburg franchise while JSW Sports, which owns Delhi Capitals, bagged Pretoria.
The owners of IPL's Lucknow Super Giants, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals successfully bid for the Durban, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) and Paarl franchises respectively.
"This is truly an exciting time for South African cricket; the overwhelming interest shows that the country remains valued in the global cricketing eco-system," league commissioner Graeme Smith said in a statement.
"The strong sports background of the respective owners and the global brands they manage ensures that South African cricket and the broader industry will benefit from their expertise and resources, as they bring stability and experience to the league."
"We have already contracted a number of leading international players who will be announced shortly," added the former South Africa captain.
Three IPL franchise owners - of Kolkata, Rajasthan and Punjab - also own teams in the Caribbean Premier League.
The Kolkata franchise is also involved in the franchise-based Major League Cricket in the United States.
NBA player Chris Paul and NFL duo Larry Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum invested in the Rajasthan franchise earlier this year.
IPL's media rights for the next five years sold for a staggering $6.2 billion last month.