No T20 League franchise for Bloem

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The VKB Knights captain, Pite van Biljon PHOTO: MICHAEL SHEEHAN

Cricket fans in Central South Africa, and more particularly Bloemfontein will be in for some bad news this weekend.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is set to announce that Bloemfontein will not be a part of the new T20 league which is set to be played in November and December.

Last week the sport’s governing body gave the green light for the controversial six-team tournament to go ahead this year.

Last year, the Global T20 League, which was meant to accommodate eight franchises, was cancelled at the 11th hour due to CSA’s failure to secure broadcasting rights.

Originally, the City of Roses, was part of the T20 Global League plans, with the Bloem City Blazers, set to be based at the Mangaung Oval. During the auction, Sushil Kumar’s team managed to secure players such as Kieron Pollard, David Miller and Dan Paterson, while Phil Simmons, Robin Singh, Allan Donald and Robin Peterson were part of the coaching staff.

Bloemfontein will not be hosting one of the six franchises for the new competition, while Paarl will be. In June, Courant, reported that the VKB Knights would be set to make way for a second franchise based in the Western Cape.

READ: Will the Knights survive cricket bomb?

At this point in time, the CEO of the Knights, Johan van Heerden, could not comment on the matter.

It is said that CSA does have other plans for the city, such as hosting a future ICC under 19 Cricket World Cup, and even a One-Day International between the Proteas and Australia. These suggestions have not been communicated with the Knights, and for now will remain nothing more than rumours.

Earlier attempts to contact the CEO of Cricket South Africa, Thabang Moroe, for comment on the matter proved to be fruitless.

The Knights will however still be a part of the domestic T20 tournament scheduled for later in the season.– MORGAN PIEK