Cricket

T20 Global League owners: Who are they?

2017-06-20 22:15
Shah Rukh Khan (Gallo Images)

London - If you have never heard of most of the new owners in South Africa's T20 Global League, then don't worry. You are not alone. 

On Monday at a high-profile function at London's Belgrave Hotel, Cricket South Africa revealed who their new partners were as eight independent bidders were publicly rewarded with their own franchises for a tournament that is considered critical to South Africa's cricketing future. 

Of the eight new bosses, only two are South African. The other owners are based in India, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Dubai. 

There are links to both the Indian Premier League and the Pakistan Super League, but very few of the owners have ever had any experience with high-profile South African sport. 

Here, we take you through the list of South African cricket's latest paymasters in an attempt to tell you a little bit more about them. 

Fawad Rana - Durban

Rana is the owner of the Pakistan Qalanders in the Pakistan Super League. He is also the managing director of Qatar Lubricants - a leading oil company in that country.

He is clearly passionate about his cricket and spoke in London about his ambition to unearth new talent in KwaZulu-Natal. 

"We have the sun of the soil," Rana said of his Proteas marquee player, Hashim Amla.

"Durban is sitting with us. We will go to the grassroots level ... that is how we will connect to Durban."

Javed Afridi - Benoni

Certainly one of the more interesting characters in the T20 Global League. Afridi is as slick as they come. 

At just 31, he is the owner of the Peshawar Zalmi franchise, also in the Pakistan Super League. He is also known for his position at Chinese electronics and appliances company Haier Pakistan, where he is the CEO. 

Afridi says he is drawn to the youth of Benoni. 

"Benoni is a city of youth. We want to get involved in that demographic," he said.

Afridi also heads up the work done by the Zalmi Foundation, which focuses on youth development, among other causes, in Pakistan.

Osman Osman - Pretoria

Osman is South African. He runs an events management company called Blu Blood and has worked on sporting events like the Nedbank Golf Challenge in the past. 

"Pretoria has always been home and we've always been passionate about cricket," he said.

"We went to every match at Centurion so it just made sense."

Mustaq Brey - Stellenbosch

The second South African owner, Brey is a director at investment company Brimstone.

"I wanted to showcase to the world the investment and tourism opportunities that await in South Africa," he said.

"Being part of this league is a significant milestone for us."

Shah Rukh Khan - Cape Town

The Bollywood superstar takes charge of his third major cricket franchise, adding the Cape Town Knight Riders to the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League and the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

He is 51 now, but still has massive star power. This is the next step in his mission to grow the Knight Riders brand. 

"We are going to have a lot of fun together," he said via a video message. 

Sushil Kumar - Bloemfontein

Kumar is based in Hong Kong and is the director of City Sports Limited, a company that aims to bring major sporting events to Hong Kong. 

Through his work with the company, Kumar has been heavily involved in trying to bring top class cricket to the region. 

Now, he will have an opportunity to run his own side at a major international tournament. 

Interestingly, Singh bought the franchise having never set foot in Bloemfontein.

GMR Group - Johannesburg

This is the same group that owns the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.

It was the one franchise that was punted as being owned by a company and not an individual.

CEO Hemant Dua was present at the launch on Monday, however, and he expressed his satisfaction at being able to purchase the franchise. 

Delhi are one of the most supported sides in the IPL and Dua is hopeful that he can cause a buzz in Johannesburg this year.

Ajay Sethi - Port Elizabeth

Sethi is based in Dubai and the chairman of the Channel 2 Group in the UAE - a broadcaster that has been heavily involved in cricket. 

He has secured some serious radio rights with the ICC this year and says he would be interested in getting his company involved in the T20 Global League too. 

Read more on:    t20 global league  |  cricket
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