It may not be too far away when a South African team may be fielded in the Indian Premier League. Gerald Majola, the CEO of Cricket South Africa, said on Wednesday morning that quite a few business tycoons have already approached him, wanting to buy IPL teams.
“Given the huge success of the IPL in the country, I have got quite a few proposals and I would like to put that forward to the IPL commission,” Majola said.
“We have developed a great relationship with the IPL and I’m quite confident we’ll be able to take the project forward,” the CEO added.
The IPL commission isn’t opposed to the idea either. “Till next year, we’ve eight teams. But after that, once we decide on new teams, there can be discussions on the South African proposal,” an IPL official said.
Meanwhile, Majola also added that there will be a proposal to the commission to have at least one round of IPL matches in South Africa every year. “It depends on the commission whether they’re happy with the hospitality that we have extended. From our end, we would like to make this bond stronger,” Majola added.
Talking about the IPL effect, the CEO said that the tournament has been able to challenge the idea of cricket being “a white man’s sport” in the country. “IPL challenges all the traditional norms of cricket and really makes the game
a mass product. IPL has been able to displace rugby and football from the sports pages.
“It was supposed to be a tired period for us, with the football and rugby season coming up, but now it has all turned around. We’ve IPL everywhere and that has not only boosted the game in the country, but the economy too,” Majola said.
Will CSA follow BCCI and embrace their stance on ICL players? “We have shown zero tolerance on rebel leagues. But we’re keeping a close eye on the situation and see how things shape up,” he added.
When asked about the racial quota in the South African tea, he said, “All I can say to you is that every player who is playing for South Africa deserves a place in the team. Our only aim is to ensure that the best team plays, where every player gets his due.”