The South Africa T20 League is set to be one of the newest club T20 tournaments with star players coming from around the world. But ahead of the launch of SA20, Cricket South Africa Commissioner Graeme Smith hopes to see Indian players competing in the tournament, if the BCCI complies.
While speaking at the SA20 launch event with Viacom 18 Sports in Mumbai, Smith talked about how South African fans would love to see Indian players in SA20 but this decision isn’t in his hands. He also hopes that BCCI would make the required changes as it would be a great opportunity for Indian talent.
Smith said, “India has some of the most talented and vibrant cricketers in the world. Obviously, everyone would want to have the Indian talent play. Our fans would love it. But it is the BCCI’s prerogative. It is their players and they can make those choices. If that changes, it will hopefully be an opportunity for us to bring some outstanding talent to South Africa. At the moment, it is what it is.”
Later in his address, Smith also talked about how playing in South African conditions will help Indian players adapt better while playing international cricket. He gave his own examples of struggling against spin when first played in India. He said, “Exposure to conditions…I remember I had never seen the ball spin and bounce (before coming to India).
I had never seen short leg and silly point. I was used to seeing fielders behind me with people bowling at 140-150 kph. So, exposure is certainly there,” he continued. “But, also it happens a lot now. India puts out two outstanding teams at the same time.”
The SA20 kicks off on January 10, MI Cape Town taking on Paarl Royals at the Newlands cricket ground in Cape Town. The tournament has six teams that play in a 33-game season in a space of four weeks across the Rainbow Nation.