Cape Premier League aims to grow club and school talent

T20 cricket

The Cape Premier League (CPL), sponsored by the S Balan group, was introduced by the founder, Ziyaad Desai, at a press conference at Newlands on Wednesday (September 12).

The official launch will take place during the New Year’s Test at an auction where the six owners of the six teams will select their squads.

The CPL consists of six T20 teams: the Atlantic Pirates, the Bo-Kaap Falcons, the Cape Vikings, the District Sixers, the Dromedaris Dragons and the Bulls. The District Sixers will be owned by JP Duminy, one of South Africa’s finest players and captain of the Cape Cobras in white-ball cricket.

“The idea started nine years ago when I introduced the LPL in Gauteng to showcase talent of young players so that they can have a chance at the next level. The best provincial players and the best performing club players will enter into the CPL auction where they will be bought by one of the owners.

“You get the opportunity where a Rory Kleinveldt, experienced older player, rubs shoulders with young upcoming club players.

“A high level of cricket will be played and an opportunity will present itself where experience will be shared. It is a pathway to growth,” said Desai.

The date of the CPL will be towards the end of the club league in March 2019.

Each owner will lure sponsors for the CPL.

The CPL is an action-packed six-team tournament and is based on the ever popular 20/20 format.

High performing players from the Western Province club league as well as young schoolboys and provincial players will compete.

The objective of the CPL is to create an excitement for the game of cricket and to foster a spirit of brotherhood and sportsmanship through this wonderful game.

“We will aim to find and nurture young talent and provide them with an opportunity to showcase their skills against the best,” Desai added.

“We will use it to break down any barriers which once existed within the sport,” Desai mentioned.

Since the inception of the LPL in Gauteng nine years ago, Quinton de Kock and Hardus Viljoen competed in the league. “We have seen how teenagers played in that league and now, nine years later, they have first-class contracts,” Desai said.

Through a unique camera pitch vision system, the CPL officials will take the game to the public as never seen before and there will be live streaming of highlights.

“We already have a social media following of 530 000 people, and daily highlights and clips will be made available to them,” Desai remarked.

The CPL will consist of a senior league in 2019 with junior divisions to follow in the forthcoming years.

It has potential global reach and is gender transcendent.

“I am excited about the development of a grassroots competition that will involve our communities and our clubs,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the Western Province Cricket Association.