Dubai businessman buys South African T20 team, eyes IPL franchise

Ajay Sethi says he expects break even in third year of South African league
Dubai businessman Ajay Sethi, pictured right was one of eight to buy a Twenty20 franchise in the South African Global League this week. Hes pictured with with Pakistan-born South African cricketer Imran Tahir.
By Parag Deulgaonkar
Thu 22 Jun 2017 10:33 AM

Dubai businessman was one of eight buyers of a Twenty20 franchise in the South African Global League this week.

While figures have not been disclosed, Ajay Sethi, who purchased Port Elizabeth franchise, said the teams in the South African T20 League have been sold for between $30 million and $55 million

Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced the eight team owners this week in London after receiving over 150 expressions of interest. Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan was another who bought a team in the league, securing the Cape Town franchise.

The teams participating in the T20 Global League, which will debut in the last quarter of 2017, are based out of eight cities across South Africa.

Each team will have 17 players on their roster, with one guaranteed marquee player from South Africa and one international marquee player.

Marquee players from South Africa include Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir, while the list of international marquee players comprise Dwayne Bravo (West Indies), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Brendon McCullum (New Zealand), Eoin Morgan (England), Kevin Pietersen (England), Kieron Pollard (West Indies) and Jason Roy (England).

Speaking to Arabian Business, Channel2 Corporation Group chairman Sethi said he expects to break even in the third year of the South African T20 league.

“I have a passion for cricket that I have turned into a business model. I see a great potential in the South African league and cricket becoming popular in world. Hence, I have invested in it,” he said, without revealing the price of his team.

“Team owners have been given a 10-year payment plan after the franchises were sold for $30 million to $55 million.”

He said that the auction for 400 cricket players will be held on August 19 in Johannesburg.

Sethi’s company also owns St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League and the audio rights for all International Cricket Council events until 2023.

He revealed he is still looking at buying a stake in one of the teams in Indian Premier League T20.

“We don’t want to buy five percent stake in any IPL team, but we are looking to acquire at least 25 percent stake. We are waiting for the right opportunity and right price to get into IPL.”

Sethi said he is willing to invest in the Pro Kabaddi League in India. Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood star Abhishek Bachchan owns teams in the league.

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