The excitement is building ahead of the T20 Global League, South Africa’s answer to the ever-popular Indian Premier League.
The tournament begins in November, with eight teams taking part, six of which have already revealed their identities and logos.
The Johannesburg-based outfit will be known as the Jo’Burg Giants, the team being owned by the same owners of IPL side the Delhi Daredevils, while down the road, Willowmore Park will be home to the Benoni Zalmi, which is a Pashto language word meaning ‘youth’.
Durban will be represented by the Durban Qalanders, the sister team of Pakistan Super League team the Lahore Qalandars, while the Cape Town Knight Riders are the sister team of IPL outfit Kolkata Knight Riders.
Bloemfontein has had its name slightly altered for the tournament, with the Bloem City Blazers set to do battle in the city, while Stellenbosch takes over Paarl, with the Stellenbosch Monarchs dropping anchor at Boland Park.
The franchises based in Port Elizabeth and Centurion are yet to reveal their identities.
Each franchise has already been allocated a Proteas marquee player, who will play for the team for the entire tournament, injury permitting.
Kagiso Rabada – Jo’Burg Giants
Quinton de Kock – Benoni Zalmi
Hashim Amla – Durban Qalanders
JP Duminy – Cape Town Knight Riders
David Miller – Bloem City Blazers
Faf du Plessis – Stellenbosch Monarchs
Imran Tahir – Port Elizabeth Franchise
AB de Villiers – Centurion Franchise
Eight foreign marquee players have also confirmed their participation for the tournament, with each cricketer set to represent one of the eight franchises, although which team they play for will only be revealed at the player auction.
The eight foreign marquee players are:
Dwayne Bravo – West Indies
Chris Gayle – West Indies
Kieron Pollard – West Indies
Lasith Malinga – Sri Lanka
Brendon McCullum – New Zealand
Eoin Morgan – England
Kevin Pietersen – England
Jason Roy – England
Five international players, including Kolpak players, will be allowed in each T20 Global League squad, which has been increased from 17 to 18. The player draft is scheduled to take place on the 26th and 27th of August, with almost 400 players from 10 countries confirming their interest.
The six-week tournament will start in November with the final taking place in Johannesburg on the 16th of December.