Cricket South Africa's inaugural T20 Global League postponed to 2018 amidst fear of running losses

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The league was the brainchild of former CSA chief Haroon Lorgat.

The inaugural T20 Global League, the brainchild of Cricket South Africa (CSA), has been postponed to November 2018 instead of its original scheduled start of November 3 later this year.

The franchise based T20 format, was former CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat’s pet project but the administrator parted ways with the board inexplicably in September.

There had been murmurs of the lack of a title sponsor and a television broadcast deal being major stumbling blocks for the T20 cricket’s latest product to get underway.

Last week, acting CSA CEO Thabang Moroe remarked that the first editions of the T20 Global League would run into losses.

On Tuesday, following a meeting of the CSA and the T20 Global League board along with consultations with the franchise owners, it was decided to postpone the inaugural edition to November, 2018.

The CSA then released a statement to that effect but failed to give specifics as to why the league was being postponed as such.

“We have not come to this decision lightly,” commented Moroe.

The likes of Gayle and Pollard had signed on for the first edition.

The likes of Gayle and Pollard had signed on for the first edition.

“Having discussed it with all our stakeholders including the franchise owners, we believe that the interest of the league should be our first priority. We have re-assessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well.

“We will regroup and come back stronger and better. At this time, we also wish to thank all the players, sponsors, broadcast partners, SACA (South African Cricketers Association) and FICA (Federation of International Cricketers) who have committed to the project. We appreciate the continued support of the individuals and organisations who have believed in this tournament.”

Moroe stated that the various franchise owners were in complete support of the decision of postponement.

The T20 Global League has eight various franchises for which the inaugural player draft was held in August this year.

A host of international stars including Jason Roy, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, Fakhar Zaman and many more had been picked up by the various franchises in the player draft held at Cape Town.

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Perera, Karunaratne shine as Sri Lanka thrash Pakistan to clinch Test series

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Off-spinner Dilruwan Perera finished with five wickets to help Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 68 runs in the second Test in Dubai on Tuesday and take the series 2-0.

Perera had figures of 5-98 as Pakistan, chasing a tough 317 to win, were bowled out for 248 in the second hour of fifth and final day at Dubai stadium.

Asad Shafiq fought hard during his 112-run knock – his 11th Test hundred — and together with his skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (68) added 173 for the sixth wicket.

But once their partnership was broken Sri Lanka, having already won the first Test by 21 runs in Abu Dhabi, quickly closed in on the victory.

This is Pakistan’s first series defeat at their adopted home of United Arab Emirates (UAE) in seven years. They had won five of the previous nine, with four drawn.

Pakistan were forced to play in the neutral venues of the UAE following the deadly terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009.

This is also Pakistan’s first home defeat since losing to South Africa 1-0 in 2007, a series held on their grounds, and only the second whitewash in their history.

They previously suffered a 3-0 defeat against Australia, a series also played at neutral venues in Colombo and UAE in 2002.

Shafiq was the ninth man out when he edged paceman Suranga Lakmal to slip where Kusal Mendis took a low diving catch to end all Pakistan’s hopes of an upset win.

Shafiq’s 253-minute knock had 10 boundaries but he again failed to help Pakistan cross the line, just like his 137 in the lost cause against Australia at Brisbane last year.

Pakistan had looked to the overnight partnership of Shafiq and Ahmed to guide them to the winning target after resuming at 198-5, needing another 119 for victory.

Both Shafiq and Ahmed had lucky escapes but Perera finally broke the resistance when Ahmed was caught off a miscued sweep at deep fine leg by Nuwan Pradeep.

Ahmed hit five boundaries during his 130-ball knock.

Shafiq brought up his hundred with a paddled sweep single off Perera and was reprived on the same score when Dimuth Karunaratne dropped a low catch of the same bowler.

Perera then completed his five-wicket haul when he trapped Mohammad Amir – unable to bowl in the second innings with a shin injury – leg before for four, bringing Sri Lanka within three wickets of victory.

Yasir Shah was cleaned up by Rangana Herath while the victory was brought up when Herath had number 10 Wahab Riaz caught gleefully by skipper Dinesh Chandimal for one.

Sri Lanka had gained a decisive 220-run lead by scoring 482 in the first innings on the back of Karunaratne’s career best 196 and then bowled Pakistan out for 262.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Kagiso Rabada can do no wrong as he emerges as South Africa's pace leader

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Kagiso Rabada made his Test debut in November 2015 in India. Since then, the South African fast bowler has barely put a foot wrong with ball in hand.

The pacer is now 22 and after nearly two years in Test cricket, it’s the perfect time to assess his career. And judging by his 10-wicket haul against a hapless Bangladesh side in the second Test at Bloemfontein, it looks like Rabada is exactly where he should be.

Whenever an exciting young talent bursts onto the scene, one should wait for two seasons before considering the player as a long-term prospect.

Many things can happen in that period. A bowler can lose his shape after a promising start, can be overburdened by an eager team and pick up an injury or ultimately be worked out by opposition batsmen. It has happened before.

Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis comes first to mind. 2008 was his year as he dismantled India in three Tests, picking up 26 wickets with his stupefying carom balls and wrong’uns. The very next year, his average shot up from under 19 to above 45.

He last played Tests in 2014, when he averaged over 40 in just two matches and has since faded from view as batsmen have solved any remaining mysteries regarding his bowling.

The next on that list is England seamer Steven Finn. Yes, he is still very much in the mix but is not the first-choice bowler he seemed destined to become when he started Tests in 2010.

His high-arm action and abundant pace provided him 46 wickets from 11 Tests at an average of 26 in 2010. Since then, a combination of indifferent form and fitness issues saw Finn in and out of the team.

Last year, the 28-year-old featured in nine Tests but his returns were far from impressive – 17 wickets at an average of more than 46.

Rabada seems to have negotiated the tricky first two years in the longest format spectacularly.

Rabada is arguably the best young Test bowler in the game at the moment.

Rabada is arguably the best young Test bowler in the game at the moment.

Last year, he picked up 46 wickets from nine matches at an average of 23.34 and this year, he is the highest wicket-taker in the longest format with 54 scalps from 10 matches at 20.96.

And he isn’t a one-format bowler either. Rabada’s played 15 ODIs in 2017, which makes for a substantial workload for a young man asked to lead the attack due to the change in fortunes of veteran quicks Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

Rabada became the youngest South African to 100 Test wickets and if he maintains his fitness and the team manages his workload judiciously, many records will surely fall along the way.

With India touring South Africa in the beginning of next year, Rabada will hope to set the record straight against the one team against whom he doesn’t have a good record – two wickets in three Tests in India.

The Proteas will surely look to give their pace spearhead as much help as they can to rattle the top-ranked Test side. And if he does so, Rabada can claim to be the best bowler in the world.

WILL YASIR SHAH BREAK?

Pakistan leggie Yasir Shah has bowled the most number of overs in Test cricket in the last three years. In 28 Tests, Shah’s workload has been 1541.1 overs which turns out to a remarkable average of more than 28 overs per innings.

Yasir Shah will have to manage an increasingly heavy workload.

Yasir Shah will have to manage an increasingly heavy workload.

The next in the list is Aussie offspinner Nathan Lyon (1502.5 overs in 36 Tests) and India’s Ravi Ashwin (1497.2 overs from 31 Tests).

As if the rigours of being the only specialist spinner in the Pakistan team weren’t enough, Shah has to now tackle the new fitness parameters that every Pakistan international player has to meet.

The leg-spinner passed a late fitness test before being made available for the current Sri Lanka series. Since the 31-year-old is a Test match specialist, failing the fitness test would have been catastrophic not only for him but the team as well.

Shah is now pushing his body more than ever to churn out the overs as Pakistan move to a three pacer/one spinner strategy and the team management puts in stricter standards for fitness.

If Shah thought bowling all those overs in the last three years were difficult, it will only get tougher as he is expected to raise his fitness and workload substantially after 31 years of age.

Hats off to him for enduring all this with a smile on his face.

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