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.
Mickey Arthur calls on Pakistan to prove India defeat was one-off
- Pakistan coach wants improved performance when side next face big rivals India on Sunday in the UAE.
- Asia Cup now down to Super Four stage.
LONDON: Mickey Arthur is confident Pakistan can bounce back from their big defeat against India in Dubai on Wednesday.
Arthur’s side lost by eight wickets to their arch-rivals in the final clash of the group stage at the Asia Cup, taking place in the UAE.
It came less than 24 hours after India struggled to beat Hong Kong, but Rohit Sharma’s side hit the disappointment of that performance for six to easily beat Pakistan.
Despite the defeat Arthur is sure his side can turn things around in the Super Four stage and go all the way and win the tournament.
“Whenever we go head-to-head with India, I am comfortable that we’ve got a dressing room of players who can stand up to it,” the Pakistan coach said.
“I am comfortable we’ve got a dressing room of players who, on any given day, can win. So I still think it’s a 50-50. Lucky this game was inconsequential in the tournament.”
Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar (three for 15) and part time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav (three for 23) sent Pakistan, who won the toss and batted, collapsing to just 162 all out in 43.1 overs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Skipper Sharma then struck three sixes and six boundaries in his 39-ball 52 while fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a six and six fours in his 54-ball 46 as India romped home in just 29 overs.
Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik both finished on 31 not out as India exacted some revenge for their humbling 180-run defeat against their arch-rivals in the final of the Champions Trophy in London last year — the most recent match between the teams until Wednesday.
Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur was not a happy man after watching his Pakistan side soundly beaten by India in Dubai.
Both Pakistan and India had already qualified for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup and will meet again in Dubai on Sunday. When they do Arthur will doubtless be looking for a response and for his side to stick to the set plans.
“On a wicket like that you need to strike really if you’re going to defend it. We didn’t strike early enough,” Arthur said.
“We went away from our plans too quickly. We said that our batters batted outside our roles and that wasn’t acceptable. With our bowling, we went outside our plans far too quickly. We wanted to bowl hard lengths, hit the top of off stump.
“It was tough to score then. We did that in the first six, and then (Usman Khan) Shinwari decided to come around the wicket and bowl a bouncer with fine leg up. And from there it just tumbled.
“We’re going to sit down and talk about that. It’s not good enough. We went outside our plans.
“That’s not acceptable. I think there was a bit of panic when they didn’t strike early.”
Also of concern to the Pakistan coach is the form of Mohammad Amir. The side’s main bowler has looked out of form recently and has struggled for wickets since last year’s Champions Trophy win.
“I’d be lying if I sat here and said there wasn’t (any concern about Amir),” Arthur said.
“I had a really good, long hard chat with him last night and I thought he came out and bowled really well. He hit the crease really hard. He ran in well. He’s been decelerating to the crease, but he didn’t do that today.
“He seemed more fluent, there was a little bit more pace there. And I was comfortable (with what he did), he bowled well. There is pressure on him, of course there is.”
There was much hype surrounding the clash, as there always is with any India vs. Pakistan match, but once Pakistan’s unpredictable batting crumbled, Wednesday’s showdown turned into a damp squib for a near-capacity crowd in the UAE. They will all hope that Sunday’s rerun will dish up more drama and entertainment.