Why an auction or draft for T20 cricket?

With the growth of T20 cricket around the world, we have seen the increase of the draft system for franchises to contract their playing personnel. This modern recruitment system is an American style mechanism. It all started over a decade ago with the start of the Indian Premier League when they introduced the auction. Does cricket, which is not an American sport really, need to go to these lengths to assemble a T20 squad?   When one has a look at the amount of players entering these drafts they far exceed the amount of positions available. A good example of this is the Cricket Emirates T20 League that is currently being launched. There are five teams and 535 cricketers from around the world have entered the draft. Mathematically, this will leave about 435 players unsuccessful and their expectations unfulfilled. This happens with most T20 tournaments, as the supply and demand is … Continue reading

CSA T20 2018: What is the status quo?

After the collapse of the T20 Global League in 2017, Cricket South Africa (CSA) was under real pressure to come up with a replacement tournament.  After months of speculation, the board of CSA on 8 September eventually gave the green light for an international T20 tournament to be hosted in South Africa over November and December 2018. From the outset it was clear that a lot of work needed to be done to make the tournament a success.   CSA has come a long way in the last month and taking stock, this is what we know: The tournament will run from 9 November to 17 December (the 17th being the reserve day for the final). CSA has entered into a three-year broadcast deal with the SABC after the original broadcaster, SuperSport, pulled out as CSA’s equity partners for the tournament. CSA is still in ongoing negotiations with the SABC ahead … Continue reading

Is professionalism destroying sport?

The professionalism of sport the last twenty five years has led to many challenges with regard to financial stability, availability of players and the lack of passion from sports fans. There is little doubt that since the inception of the professional era sport has lost it gloss and appeal to the sports fans. One just has to look at the empty stadiums to realize that the professional era has many problems. There are probably three major reasons for the decline in the interest and passion for sport. Sports teams’ historical roots were in communities and the teams represented their communities, but in the professional era teams draw their players from other provinces, clubs and even overseas. The teams no longer represent a specific community but a professional brand and this has led to a decline in interest from the public. The professional era’s cost structure is so much higher than … Continue reading

Africa T20 Cup growing in stature

Remember when the Africa T20 Cup was announced in 2015 and one of the pop-up banners at the launch function read “Arfica T20 Cup”? There were many sceptics four years ago who doubted the viability of the tournament.  But the tournament has grown in stature and today there are few who still believe it doesn‘t have a rightful place on the South African cricket calendar. Initially the tournament was created to fill the gap left in the calendar by the cancellation of the Indian Premier League’s off-shoot, the Champions League Twenty20.  Because of the cancellation, SuperSport desperately needed content to fill its airwaves and so the Africa T20 Cup was born.  From being a substitute tournament four years ago, it is now a standalone event seen as the curtain-raiser to the South African domestic season. The format of the tournament was the same from 2015 to 2017.  Sixteen teams (the … Continue reading

Wellington one of the great Springbok victories

The Springboks’ victory in Wellington will go down in history as one of the great Springbok victories. The dynamics around the Springboks prior to this Test never suggested that they could beat the mighty All Blacks in New Zealand. They entered the Test being ranked number seven in the world and had not beaten the All Blacks since 2014. Also, winning in New Zealand has historically proved to be a very difficult assignment; since 1925 the Springboks have only won ten Tests in New Zealand. The match statistics suggest that it was nothing short of a miracle and will not easily be repeated with similar statistics. The All Blacks had a very poor day gifting the Springboks two tries and missing four reasonably easy conversions. However, the Springboks need to be praised for their courage and never-say-die attitude which does justice to the great legacy of South African rugby. Progress … Continue reading

The world’s most marketable athlete

Ever wondered who the most marketable athlete in the world is?  Well, wonder no more.  According to the authoritative sport business website, SportsPro, France’s soccer World Cup winner, Paul Pogba, is the one. Since 2010, SportsPro has annually published a list of the 50 most marketable athletes in the world.  Over the past nine years, the names on the list have fluctuated wildly.  The main reason has been the phenomenal growth in social media and how athletes exploit (or fail to exploit) the various platforms.  For example, when the first list was published in 2010, Instagram didn’t even exist! Athletes from across the world are ranked according to criteria that include among other things age, home and international market appeal, charisma, willingness to be marketed and crossover appeal (in other words their ability to influence markets outside the sphere of their sport).  Crucially, for the first time, SportsPro have also … Continue reading

Southern hemisphere rugby is terminal

Southern hemisphere rugby faces massive problems regarding the exodus of players to the rest of the world, especially to France, Japan and the United Kingdom. The world’s three most successful countries are being stripped of the players they produce and the public interest is waning. This will lead to the demise of rugby in these countries, and eventual bankruptcy, if this trend continues. If this happens, rugby in the southern hemisphere will disappear as an international and professional game. And this includes New Zealand. Who would have thought that this scenario would ever have surfaced five years ago when the southern hemisphere game was so strong? The problem is that the northern hemisphere has the finances and the southern hemisphere the players. In the professional era the players are following the money and playing for their countries is no longer a priority. This is a very dangerous situation for the … Continue reading

Does the SA ‘A’ team offer any hope for the future?

For a number of years now it has become the norm for the South African ‘A’ team to participate in a triangular series with their counterparts from Australia and India. The hosting of the series rotates between the three countries.  Typically the series consist of the host country playing two unofficial, four-day “Test” matches (officially these matches are regarded as first-class games) against one of the other two, followed by a triangular in which all three countries play each other twice with a final to decide a series winner, and finally another two unofficial four-day “Test” matches between the hosts and the third country involved. South Africa’s record in these trilateral series is abysmal.  The ‘A’ team last won a series in 2014, beating Australia 1-0 in the two-match unofficial “Test” series in South Africa.  Their bad run was continued in the recently completed series in India.  India ‘A’ comprehensively … Continue reading

Proteas’ 2019 Cricket World Cup chances: realistic or not?

Next year this time the 2019 Cricket World Cup (CWC) will be something of the past for another four years. If Australia can’t defend their title successfully, a new champion will have lifted the coveted trophy. South Africans will be hoping that the Proteas will put 27 years of CWC misery behind them and be that team lifting the 2019 CWC. Can the Proteas realistically deliver on the dream or will it be another tournament of South African disappointment? The Proteas are currently ranked 4th in the International Cricket Council’s One Day International rankings, but it is difficult to see this team competing against the likes of England, India, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan. Australia, ranked below the Proteas in 6th place, will send a very different team once the ball-tampering bans have been lifted and the injury position is solved. They are the CWC champions and will defend their … Continue reading

Proteas have lost their Asian mojo

It there was any belief that the Proteas are still the side they were when they were number one ranked Test team in the world, then the recent Test series defeat in Sri Lanka has crushed it. You don’t become the best in the world if you cannot beat (or at least hold your own against) Asian opposition in Asia.  That is what the Proteas did in Asia from 2007 to 2015 and that is why, for the majority of this eight-year period, they were the best Test team om the planet. From October 2007 to July 2015, the Proteas played seventeen Test matches in Asia across eight series.  They didn’t lose any of these series, winning three and drawing five.  In all they won seven Test matches, drew seven and lost only three.  No other country outside Asia came close to emulating the Proteas over this period. But in … Continue reading