UAE businessman Ajay Sethi, who won the rights to own the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars team in the now altered T20 Global League, has said he continues to be a part of South Africa’s T20 league ambitions. This despite reports that previous owners will not be a part of a relaunched T20 league by Cricket South Africa.
The South African board had launched an ambitious plan for a T20 tournament last year with prominent team owners from across the globe, including three from the Indian Premier League and two from the Pakistan Super League. Sethi, the Channel 2 group chairman, was the owner of the team that was to be based in Port Elizabeth but the tournament didn’t take off due to commercial and broadcast issues.
This week, the South African board started afresh by launching a new T20 league in partnership with broadcaster SuperSport. However, there are reports that none of the original team owners will be a part of the new endeavour and that their original deposit of $250,000 has been returned.
Sethi, however, said he remains a committed team owner of South Africa’s T20 league.
“I am happy to hear that CSA has joined hands with SuperSport as we were waiting for the same media deal. Let us wait for the next step from CSA. We stay committed as Nelson Mandela Bay Stars team owner,” Sethi told Sport360.
When asked whether refunding their despot money means an end of the partnership between him and the South African board, Sethi said: “The refund was our bid money which was refundable anyhow. We will wait for CSA to reply. Only I can comment as they can’t take us out as team owners.”
Having already beaten India in a group-match earlier in the tournament, the Bangladesh eves completed only their second victory over the six-time champions to capture an historic title.
In the finals, Bangladesh skipper Shamima Sultana won the toss and elected to field first. Despite an attacking half-century from India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, Bangladesh’s bowlers were on song as they restricted the opponents to just 112-9 in their 20 overs.
For Bangladesh, Khadija Tul Kubra and Rumana Ahmed were the stars with the ball as they snared two wickets apiece.
In reply, although no Bangladesh player went on to score a big innings, valuable contributions from the top and middle-order saw Sultana and her squad pip India in the final delivery of the match.
It looked liked Bangladesh had done enough for a comfortable win when they were batting at 96-4 but a spate of quick wickets ensured that the match enjoyed a more than lively end.
The equation for Bangladesh came down to nine runs required off the final over with five wickets in hand. India skipper Harmanpreet herself took on the responsibility in the final over and although two wickets fell off consecutive balls, Jahanara Alam held her nerve in the last ball as she scampered home for a second run to complete a remarkable victory for the underdogs.
India spinner Poonam Yadav’s sensational figures of four wickets while just conceding nine runs went in vain. This was India’s seventh consecutive appearance in the finals of the Asia Cup.
112-9 (20 overs)
Harmanpreet Kaur – 56 (42)
Khadija Tul Kubra – 2/23 (Four overs)
Rumana Ahmed – 2/22 (Four overs)
113-7 (20 overs)
Nigar Sultana – 27 (24)
Poonam Yadav – 4/9 (Four overs)
Anderson will sit out the games against Worcestershire and Hampshire as part of a six-week period of rest in a bid to be ready to face the tourists in a five-match series which starts on August 1.
Anderson starred in the second Test against Pakistan at Headingley as England fought back to draw the series 1-1 but will now rest a shoulder injury which he has managed for some time.