Johannesburg: The irregular bonus scandal which followed their hosting of the 2009 IPL will not be repeated when South Africa host this year's Champions League Twenty20, the country's Cricket Board has assured. Tournament Director Naasei Appiah insisted that no financial irregularities would happen this time.
Cricket South Africa is still grappling with the scandal for which its former CEO Gerald Majola is currently facing a disciplinary hearing for paying himself and other top staff huge bonuses after IPL 2 and the Champions League hosted in South Africa a few years ago.
"The Champions League is a venture between the cricket boards of South Africa, India and Australia, so we don't receive bonuses for events that are part of our normal operations," Appiah said.
CLT20 CEO Sundar Raman said although South Africa was chosen for a second time, other countries could also host the Champions League.
"I think we need to be very certain about the ability to host a tournament with sufficient logistical support as well as the ability to host sufficient crowds turning up.
"South Africa has hosted some of the biggest sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup in 2012 and there is no reason to believe that there is any other reason except that there is a sport-loving public and the infrastructure is there," Raman said.
"We were pretty delighted with the response that we got with the second edition that was played in South Africa in 2010 and after much deliberation we thought it's only fair that we come back to South Africa after having the 2011 edition in India and to take this tournament to different markets to ensure that people get to enjoy high-class domestic T20 talent," Raman added.
Raman said the 14 teams and USD six million prize money this year are the biggest in the history of the tournament.
"What it does for local cricket is what we are very happy about. There is a re-energised interest in domestic cricket that we have noticed all over the world. Every team is interested in winning the local domestic championship in their country to get into the Champions League," he said.
CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul said the Champions League would also provide a platform for players who do not have the opportunity to compete on the international circuit to display their talents.
Appiah said of the 3,80,000 tickets available for the games, 70,000 have already been sold.
"But most will be sold on the day of the match and when people know the schedules. 30 percent of tickets for the Wanderers final have been sold without having team names already," Appiah said.