CSA: T20 global league is an accelerator for transformation

"Players such as South Africa’s Cricketer of the Year for 2016, Kagiso Rabada and Temba Bavuma have become household names in South African cricket." (Getty)

"Players such as South Africa’s Cricketer of the Year for 2016, Kagiso Rabada and Temba Bavuma have become household names in South African cricket." (Getty)

Cricket South Africa understands that cricket is not just about building sporting heroes, it’s not just about creating a world-class cricket team; it’s about contributing to a nation rallied around a common set of values, and a belief in a better life for all. Pick up a bat, throw the ball, cheer your friends and you have a game of cricket. 

From the unpaved streets of Khayelitsha to the immaculate lawns of the Wanderers, from those with passion and enthusiasm, to those who have expertise and experience, cricket is a game for all South Africans, to be played anywhere, anytime. Woven into the very fabric of the way in which CSA operates, is transformation. It is part of its strategic principles, along with excellence, development, sustainability and brand promotion. One bat, cannot stand without the other. One bat, cannot be prioritised over the other. Together they work to create a cricket world that represents our country and is supported by it.

In short, CSA is about pursuing excellence, while tenaciously committed to transformation – transformation from the bottom to the top; systemic and sustainable that has targets to drive it and to measure its success.

Transformation is part of CSA’s DNA and T20 is an important tool to achieve this

Transformation has, and always will be, an integral part of CSA’s DNA. CSA’s transformation philosophy follows a multi-layered and meticulous two-pronged approach in order to ensure that we have ample talent from grass roots level and which will be nurtured to rise up to the international level. In our national teams, we have specific targets (six players of colour and two Black Africans) to ensure that Black Africans and those previously disadvantaged are included in the team. This approach is strategic, and remains a key focus area for CSA. More importantly, we provide infrastructure (through Regional Performance Centres and Hubs), funding and skills development to unlock and develop the cricket talent pool within the country. This would surely ensure the sustainability and growth of cricket and of high calibre cricketers in South Africa.

The cricket development pipeline, along with targets are therefore the two key drivers of transformation. And playing for the Proteas (men and women) is the end-goal. And now we have added the T20GL as an exciting aspirational target in player development and achievement.

The new T20GL will accelerate our transformation goals.

Meeting our targets

The strongest theories of transformation, backed by experience on the ground, show that no matter how strong the systemic support for change is, putting in place targets is the most certain way of accessing this.

CSA takes this very seriously. Since targets were introduced into the national teams in the second half of last year, the Proteas have achieved some spectacular results, both in terms of on field excellence and transformation. Prior to the recent tour to England where results did not go our way, there have been away Test series wins in both Australia and New Zealand and some of the selected XIs, particularly in the two limited overs formats, have at times included as many as 8 black players. In the same period the women have also gone from strength to strength, emerging as one of the top four teams at the recent ICC Women’s World Cup.

Players such as South Africa’s Cricketer of the Year for 2016, Kagiso Rabada and Temba Bavuma have become household names in South African cricket, have been widely respected across all sections of our country, and have very importantly caused a huge increase in TV viewership numbers on the public broadcaster.

And for T20 Global League our targets are:

The T20GL provides an opportunity to attract, grow and retain a quality talent pool in South Africa.The teams will be majority South Africans and must include two local rookies (i.e. U/23 and who have not played internationally). This provides an additional opportunity for cricket as a gainful income earning profession. It also mitigates against the lure of foreign attraction for young emerging SA talent.

The economic benefits of a local T20 league for the country are huge. It has the potential to create opportunities and strengthen income streams around the country and specifically for the cities that will be hosting the eight franchises.

South African players will have mentoring opportunities from the best talent in global cricket (players, coaches and support staff), which can only improve local playing standards.

Developing our players

The CSA Hubs & Regional Performance Centres (RPC’s program was introduced three years ago to enhance and develop the game of cricket amongst previously disadvantaged Black communities. CSA currently has 62 HUBS & RPCs across the country that provides access to promising players who have been identified at school level, and then further developed through a structured coaching and playing program.

The Hubs increase access to the game, provide quality coaching and increase the number and quality of cricket matches played within the previously disadvantaged areas and in doing so will:

  • oCreate and nurture the love of the game of cricket among black communities;
  • oDevelop quality black cricketers who will contribute positively towards the CSA player pipeline;
  • oDecrease the disparity in the number of matches played between the schools in disadvantaged areas and the traditional or privileged cricket schools.

T20GL injects the Hubs & RPC development fund

It makes perfect sense for the T20GL Franchises to assist CSA in investing in the future of South African cricketers by adopting Hubs across the country. This partnershipbetween theT20GL Franchises and the adopted Hubs will address:

  • Hub programme development - The Franchise will invest $25 000 each into the adopted Hubto assist in the execution of the programme. Each of these Hubs has an administrative and coaching structure that is monitored via a scorecard by CSA and its Affiliate to which this Hub belongs. It will assist the growth and development of the Hub and its players and coaches if this current relationship is enhanced by the #T20GL Franchise. (By taking interest in and investing into the Hub).
  • Leadership –the Hub head-coaches will be invited to be part of therespectiveFranchise coaching staff on an invitation basis.
  • Education trust – afford five talented players/students from Hubs/RPC programme a schoolsubsidy to gain entry into the traditional/focus cricket schools and ensure their opportunity to a better education and cricket development structure. This will be implemented over a five-year period, one recipient per year to the value of $2 000.

Leaving a lasting legacy

Social cohesion programs provide access and opportunity to young and aspiring talent. Schools benefit directly– improved facilities, increased playing opportunities, entry point to athlete pathway in cricket, capacity building amongst educators. Rural development programs are strengthened, (e.g. Fort Hare, Alice hub). And finally, there will be leadership development amongst hub co-ordinators.

Contributing to national and economic development

T20 cricket has become a very successful form of the game, attracting new fans and securing high commercial values. Its popularity has arguably outstripped the traditional forms of cricket at both domestic and international level. There are now a number of high profile domestic T20 cricket leagues around the world which have been well-received by cricket fans and TV audiences with broadcasters willing to pay premium rates. The top T20 leagues have attracted new fans, big sponsorships, and high broadcast values. Our local league will reap such benefits too.

T20GL, South Africa is aligned with Vision 2030 of the National Development Plan “working towards a new sense in embracing the full potential of the population and proclaiming its openness to the world”. The league will demonstrate an efficient South Africa, able to host and co-ordinate a global event on a national scale.

Sports is a vehicle for change in South Africa. Travel and tourism directly contributed ZAR 102 billion to the SA GDP by 2012 and supports 10,3% of jobs in the country. And the number of sport-tourists visiting our country every year for the T20GL will contribute significantly to sustaining and indeed growing these figures. It is widely recognized that sports is an effective platform for attracting tourism to our country (Strategic objective 28 of National Sports Plan).

And its not only tourism that will benefit. The T20GL will create employment, and much needed foreign direct investment in our country.

Contributing to commercial sustainability for cricket in SA

The T20GL, South Africa creates opportunity for additional revenue generation for CSA. Sportainment is a new industry – along with it comes enhanced broadcasting, diverse and inclusive new markets, and global reach and appeal.

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