Proteas stars link with T20 sides

Eight franchises for new South African T20 competition assigned marquee players with heavy India, Pakistan influence in ownership

Cricket superstars AB de Villiers and Kagiso Rabada are among the eight marquee players to have been assigned to new franchises of South Africa's T20 Global League.

De Villiers has been assigned to the Pretoria franchise as their marquee player while Rabada will play for the Johannesburg side, with the tournament to take place in late 2017 with the final scheduled for December 16.

The other six big-name Proteas stars allocated teams at the competition's launch event on Monday were JP Duminy (Cape Town), Hashim Amla (Durban), Quinton de Kock (Benoni), Imran Tahir (Port Elizabeth), Faf du Plessis (Stellenbosch) and David Miller (Bloemfontein).

The players have been assigned to a team on the basis of the city they have historically been associated with, or a city they will be able to build a strong association with, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said.

The player draft is scheduled for 19 August, with almost 400 players from 10 countries confirming their interest. 

The highly-anticipated T20 tournament, South Africa's version of the Indian Premier League or the KFC Big Bash League, also revealed the owners of each of the eight franchises.

CSA unveiled the logo for their new domestic T20 league // Cricket South Africa
CSA unveiled the logo for their new domestic T20 league earlier this month // Cricket South Africa

There's a significant IPL flavour to the new competition, with the respective owners of Kolkata Knight Riders (Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan) and Delhi Daredevils (GMR Group) announced as having won the rights to the Cape Town and Johannesburg franchises respectively.

Javed Afridi and Fawad Rana, the respective owners of Pakistan Super League sides Peshawar Zalmi and Lahore Qalandar, have taken on the Benoni and Durban franchises.

CSA said they received over 150 expressions of interest from around the world for team ownership.

"The announcement of the team owners is a key milestone to successfully launch our T20 Global League," CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. 

"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. 

"It sets up our #T20GL as a fan favourite in the cricketing calendar."

Earlier this month, CSA confirmed a swag of international T20 guns would take part in the inaugural edition of the tournament.

The eight overseas players named were Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard (all West Indies), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) and Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen and Jason Roy (all England).

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