Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa
A high-powered management delegation from SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) has travelled from India to start preparing for the SA20 tournament, which includes a Nelson Mandela Bay-based team, the SunRisers Eastern Cape.
“We are looking forward to bringing our style of high-energy T20 cricket to Nelson Mandela Bay in a format which has wide appeal,” says Mr. K. Shanmugam, Head of Sports Division, SunRisers.
“We bring a vast repertoire of skills and expertise in the domain of sports marketing which can be seamlessly adapted and ported into the new T20 league that is envisaged in South Africa”.
Sunrisers Eastern Cape will also support Eastern Province Cricket (EPC) to strengthen the pipeline of young players coming into the game.
“T20 is the ideal platform from which to grow the sport from grassroots level”, says Shanmugam.
“It will inspire talented young players, and we hope to see more Eastern Cape players in the Protea national team in the years to come.
“We pride ourselves on our talent scouting system, which has been one of the key strengths of SunRisers.
“We have discovered many gifted professionals who have gone on to play for their national sides and become most sought-after names in the game,” says Shanmugam.
The first match of the SA20 is scheduled for 23 January 2023. Players will be confirmed after an auction on September 19.
SRH is owned by the Sun TV Network, which is one of the largest Indian media groups, with 33 TV channels and 69 radio stations in various languages across the world.
“Sunrisers will help promote Nelson Mandela Bay and the Eastern Cape as a whole as both a tourist and investment destination,” says Dr Mark Williams, chief executive officer of Cricket Eastern Cape.
Founded as a media company in April 1993, Sun TV expanded into professional sport.
In 2013, SRH made an explosive entry into the Indian Premier League (IPL) when it made it into the playoffs of the IPL, the biggest T20 cricket league in the world.
SRH were IPL champions in 2016 and runners-up in 2018. The team has made it into the playoffs in six seasons since 2013.
Shanmugam says having SunRisers Eastern Cape based in Nelson Mandela Bay will open up opportunities for South African players.
“The South African league will definitely be a platform for some of the young SA players to get an opportunity to be a part of our IPL camps and training facilities as well as play in the IPL, rubbing shoulders with the best cricketers in the world”.