De Villiers headlined South Africa's new T20 championship
AB de Villiers will be the first South African champion Twenty20 when he will take Tshwane Spartans to the opening match of Super League Mzansi (South Africa) against Cape Town Blitz on Friday.
The month-long championship will only begin one month after the official start, with no title sponsor and a relatively modest list of international players, partly because some big players have already made other commitments.
South Africa's Cricket (CSA) has made a $ 40 million ($ 2.8 million / $ 2.45 million) budget for the first edition of the tournament originally set in 2017 before it was abandoned without a TV agreement or a major sponsor , resulting in a loss of about $ 14 million and the resignation of then managing director Haroon Lorgat.
SABC, the national broadcaster, will broadcast the tournament. Coverage of free air is expected to increase the popularity of cricket, although it is unlikely that CSA will receive a significant royalty fee.
Apart from the absence of a title sponsor, none of the six teams have announced a major sponsor.
CSA hopes the international exhibition will allow the championship to compete for the long-term success of similar tournaments in other countries, such as the Indian Premier League and Australia's Big Bash League.
Head of marketing, former tester Clive Eksteen, said in a recent update that the matches will be broadcast in India, England, Australia, North America and the Caribbean.
Some international players, such as Rashid Khan in Afghanistan and Jason Roy from England, will only be available for the final stages of the championship in Abu Dhabi.
South Africa's top South African players will lose their original matches due to a tour in Australia that ends Saturday.
– All systems go & # 39; –
But De Villiers is probably the biggest athlete in South African cricket. His retirement from international cricket earlier this year means that the championship will be his only appearances in South African races this season.
In an article on the site, De Villiers said he "can not wait" to start the championship. "I've worked hard in the gym and the nets, and all the systems go," he wrote.
De Villiers has been appointed Spartan leader, who will represent the metropolitan area of Pretoria, his homeland. He scored 93 of 31 balls in a qualifying match with the Johannesburg team, Jozi Stars.
The Cape Town Blitz will be without captain Farhaan Behardien and Quinton de Kock, South African marquee players because they are with the South African team in Australia.
However, Dawid Malan, England's trained batsman from South Africa, showed that it could be a worthwhile signing by marking 85 of 54 balls in a qualifying match with Paarl Rocks.
The championship will be held in a difficult time for South African cricket.
With the country's economy in poor shape, CSA has no sponsors for test matches and two of the three main internal competitions.
There has been a steady exit of competent players from the country, either in the Kolpak contracts in England or, in many cases, in new players simply by seeking to make a new life abroad.
The championship provides a substantial incentive for local players with a contract ranging from about $ 70,000 for top players to $ 7,000 for smaller players. There is also a cash prize worth about $ 700,000.
The six teams will play a round-up championship where the team will take the final of December 16 against the winners of a playoff between the second and third place.
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