When MI Cape Town and Paarl Royals faced off on January 10, Tuesday, in Cape Town, the inaugural SA20 League got underway. The Indian Premier League franchises are the owners of the six participating teams in the competition. On January 11, Wednesday, in Durban, the IPL team Lucknow Super Giants’ Durban Super Giants and the Johannesburg Super Kings will square off.
Albie Morkel, an assistant coach and former all-rounder for the Chennai Super Kings, said that having ties to established organisations gives players and coaches confidence in their ability to succeed in the future as Joburg Super Kings, the franchise owned by the four-time champions Chennai Super Kings, get ready for their opening game. Before the game, Morkel elaborated on the significance of the competition for South Africa and predicted that the first SA20 league would become one of the biggest in the world.
“We have tried to launch a league in South Africa for the last few years but it has not been successful. Associations with teams like these guarantees longevity in terms of the tournament. It gives us players and coaches freedom of mindset that you have a couple of years to build something,” Morkel was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.
Joburg Super Kings will be led by Faf du Plessis, who played with the Chennai Super Kings for more than ten years, up till the SA20. CSK signed him up for the South African tournament even though they were unable to get his services at the IPL 2022 big auction and he ultimately joined Royal Challengers Bangalore as their captain. Du Plessis is the ideal candidate, according to Morkel, who added: “Chennai Super Kings has a strong culture, it is a team that has been very successful and we are hoping to replicate that in South Africa with Joburg Super Kings.”
Morkel played in several T20 tournaments prior to taking on the coaching position. According to him, the sport is rapidly moving into franchise-based competitions, with a number of these leagues forming throughout the cricket season. “It is exciting for one, you know, it is not so good for national cricket as you have seen in the last couple of weeks you get guys that are sort of picked just to play in these leagues. Going forward, with all these leagues popping up, guys can start to pick and choose a little bit. I think once the bigger leagues sort of establish themselves and I firmly believe that SA20 league in future will be one of the biggest leagues,” Morkel added.
“I think players will settle down a little bit more playing in all the big leagues. Workload within that is difficult to manage especially if you have players who play in other formats, I don’t think it is possible for guys to play all the cricket within that you will see more and more players pick a route where they want to go,” he concluded.