Bollywood’s Shah Rukh Khan buys South Africa T20 franchise
Bollywood’s Shah Rukh Khan buys South Africa T20 franchise
The Bollywood leading man expanded his established Knight Riders Brand with the purchase of the Cape Town franchise to add to the teams he already owns in Kolkata and Trinidad.
There was a further link to the Indian Premier League, the lucrative Twenty20 competition that has sparked similar tournaments in the Caribbean, Australia, Bangladesh and Pakistan too.
GMR Sports, the holding company that controls the IPL Delhi Daredevils, purchased the Johannesburg franchise.
Two Pakistan Super League owners, Fawad Rana of the Lahore Qalandar and Javed Afridi of the Peshawar Zalmi, have bought franchises in Durban and Benoni respectively.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong businessman Sushil Kumar bought the Bloemfontein franchise, with Dubai’s Ajay Sethi taking up the Port Elizabeth franchise.
Two of the franchises will be South African owned, with businessman Osman Osman now in charge of the Pretoria franchise and Brimstone, an investment company, now having the Stellenbosch franchise as part of its portfolio.
Shah himself was not present at the launch in London, a location that meant the South Africa marquee players attached to each of the eight teams could attend, with the Proteas currently on tour in England.
“We are thrilled by the international mix of owners and the passion and excitement that was clearly demonstrated during the bidding process by them and the marquee players,” said Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
The South Africa marquee players are Hashim Amla (Durban), Quinton de Kock (Benoni), AB de Villiers (Pretoria), Faf du Plessis (Stellenbosch), JP Duminy (Cape Town), David Miller (Bloemfontein), Kagiso Rabada (Johannesburg) and Imran Tahir (Port Elizabeth).
Meanwhile, the likes of South Africa-born England batsman Kevin Pietersen and former New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum are also set to be two of the eight ‘international marquee’ players involved.
They, together with the current England ‘white-ball’ captain Eoin Morgan and fellow batsman Jason Roy, as well as Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard (all West Indies) plus Sri Lanka paceman Lasith Malinga are all set to enter into a mini-draft with the highest bidding franchise owner having first pick and the rest following the same process.
McCullum caused an unintentional moment of humor at the launch when he described himself as a “T20 mercenary,” with event host Alan Wilkins, the cricket broadcaster, jumping in to say “ambassador.”
The November-December timeframe for the tournament means leading Australian players are likely to be unavailable because of a clash with their home season, although that could change if there’s no resolution to their bitter pay dispute with Cricket Australia.
No India players are expected to take part either but more than 400 cricketers have registered their interest, with a draft scheduled for August.
“Captain fantastic” Harry Kane to the rescue as England beat Tunisia at the death
- Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner
- England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes
VOLGOGRAD, Russia: Captain Harry Kane came to the rescue with two goals, the second a dramatic injury-time winner, as England began their World Cup Group G campaign with a stuttering 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday.
Gareth Southgate’s men almost paid a heavy price for missing a slew of first-half chances when Tunisia’s Ferjani Sassi slotted home a softly-awarded penalty 20 minutes before half-time.
And the north Africans were still level as the game went past the 90-minute mark.
But Harry Maguire won a header from a corner and Kane was on hand at the far post to nod in the winner before being mobbed by his ecstatic teammates.
“I’m so proud of the lads,” Kane said. “They kept going, kept going to the last second.
“I am absolutely buzzing, everyone on the staff is. It shows good character to get the job done.”
England had started brightly in a blur of passing and movement and could have been two goals up inside the first four minutes.
First Jordan Henderson’s lofted first-time pass released Dele Alli and when the ball eventually broke to Jesse Lingard he saw his shot from six yards saved by the outstretched left boot of Mouez Hassen in the Tunisia goal.
Kane had been kept quiet in the opening salvos but he exploded into action in the 11th minute when he cut inside from the left and saw his shot from the edge of the box deflected wide for a corner.
Ashley Young delivered the set piece for John Stones to rise highest and meet with a powerful header. Hassen saved acrobatically but Kane was on hand to tap home the rebound with his right foot and open his World Cup account.
Hassen, who had injured his left shoulder making an earlier save, could not continue and left the field in tears as he was replaced in goal by Farouk Ben Mustapha.
England continued to press and were made to pay for not converting a succession of chances when they conceded a soft penalty.
Kyle Walker swung a lazy arm across Fakhreddine Ben Youssef who fell as if poleaxed and Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan pointed to the spot, with his decision being upheld by the VAR.
Ferjani Sassi took one step and fired home confidently past the hitherto unemployed Jordan Pickford and Tunisia who had been outplayed for the first half-hour were somehow level 10 minutes before half-time.
Still there was time for Lingard to come close again twice, first from a goalbound shot and then a dink over the keeper which agonizingly struck the post.
Alli too hit the woodwork with a header and England went into half-time wondering how they had not sealed victory already.
England still enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but could not find the same zip and penetration they had enjoyed at the start of the first half.
The ineffective Sterling gave way to Marcus Rashford with just over 20 minutes to go and the Manchester United man almost fashioned a chance straight away with a jinking run into the box.