South Africa make fresh attempt to launch T20 league

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Cricket South Africa have revived their attempt to launch a T20 league after the T20 Global League (TGL) failed to get off the ground.

Announcing a partnership with broadcaster SuperSport on Friday, Cricket South Africa said the board has learned from the mistakes of the TGL and will ensure a smooth launch of the tournament that is now scheduled for November-December later in the year.

Talking about the new deal, acting CEO of CSA Thabang Moroe said: “CSA is delighted to announce this equity partnership with our long-term broadcast partners SuperSport. We have put the problems we experienced with the Global T20 League behind us and look forward to hosting the new competition.”

Gideon Khobane, CEO of SuperSport, said: “CSA has been an outstanding partner of SuperSport’s for many years. This sees our relationship taken to the next level, where we will pool our resources in a partnership which will create high-quality cricket and provide entertaining content for cricket fans locally and broadcast viewers both domestically and globally.”

The T20 Global League was launched in June last year with a lot of fanfare and had three team owners from the Indian Premier League and two from the Pakistan Super League. The then board  CEO Haroon Lorgat left the board in September as issues regarding the T20 league persisted. In the end, the inaugural season was postponed after no agreement was reached on a broadcast deal and the projected losses from the first edition estimated to be around $25 million.

According to ESPNCricinfo, the eight franchise owners have been refunded their $250,000 deposit which means they will not feature in the new league.

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Mike Hesson steps down as New Zealand head coach

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Mike Hesson is to resign as coach of the New Zealand cricket team after six years in the role.

Hesson, 43, led the Black Caps to the cricket World Cup final in 2015 and will leave less than a year before the 2019 tournament in England and Wales.

The former Kenya coach said he was leaving the role due to the rigours of international cricket.

He said: “This job requires 100 percent commitment and is all consuming.

“I know what’s required over the next 12 months, but if I’m honest, I don’t feel I have the capacity to give the job what it deserves.

“I love the team and have great hopes about what they will be able to achieve. I’ll always be a supporter.”

New Zealand cricket chief executive David White said he was sad to see Hesson leave the role.

“I tried to persuade him to stay on for another 12 months but his mind was made up. We understand his position,” he said.

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South Africa pace legend Dale Steyn takes wicket on return to competitive cricket

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Steyn had been out of action since January this year.

After an extended spell on the sidelines due to multiple injuries, South Africa pacer Dale Steyn returned to competitive cricket on Wednesday evening.

The 34-year-old fast bowler, whose comeback from a long-term injury earlier this year was short-lived due a freak toe injury he suffered against India in the first Test at Newlands, is currently plying his trade with English county side Hampshire on a one-month contract.

Steyn made his first appearance for the Ageas Bowl club on Wednesday in the Royal London One-Day Cup clash against Somerset.

The veteran’s return didn’t go accordingly to plan as he went for 50 runs in his first five overs. However, he did have a much better second-half as he bowled a brilliant penultimate over for Hampshire under pressure while claiming the wicket of Roelof van der Merwe.

The South African ultimately finished with figures of 1-80 from his 10 overs as Somerset claimed a thrilling last-ball victory chasing down Hampshire’s total of 357 with three wickets to spare.

In a video posted by Hampshire on Twitter, Steyn had earlier confirmed the good news of his impending return with an eye on South Africa’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.

“The ball is coming out sweetly,” the Proteas pacer said in the video.

“I needed to get back on the park and play a bit of cricket. South Africa tour Sri Lanka in July so I felt that June was a great time to come and play some cricket.”

South Africa are slated to play two Tests and five ODIs in their tour of Sri Lanka which gets underway in July.

In 86 Tests for South Africa, Steyn has picked up a staggering 419 wickets at an average of just over 22. He needs only three wickets to overtake Shaun Pollock (421) as the most successful bowler in South Africa’s history.

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