Hong Kong owners unveil Bloem City Blazers as franchise team for South Africa’s Global T20 League
The City Group, which owns the locally based City Kaitak franchise, is expected to invest more than US$100 million in its Bloemfontein team
The Hong Kong-based owners of City Group have unveiled their Bloemfontein-based franchise for South Africa’s Global T20 League – and they are bringing the same philosophy of “Be A Part, Stand Apart” to the team as they did for City Kaitak in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.
Sushil Kumar launched Hong Kong’s first overseas franchise, the Bloem City Blazers, with a vision to promote cricket in South Africa and around the world.
Watch: Bloem City Blazers promotional video
“We hope the team identity is one that all South Africans and cricket fans all over the world will grow to love and support,” he said after unveiling the team logo in the group’s now-familiar yellow along with a fiery red.
“We want to become part of the local community through the game of cricket. We want to promote the spirit of true sportsmanship and fair play, while at the same time creating a unique identity through our focus on performance and development.
“Our mission is to be the most loved team of the Global T20 League. All the teams will obviously want to win the tournament, but we also want to win the hearts and minds of our fans, supporters, sponsors and even our competitors. Our players, coaches and support staff are selected purely based on merit and performance.”
City Kaitak were one of five teams at the Hong Kong T20 Blitz in March this year and reached the final. The owners said earlier that they were prepared to invest more than US$100 million over time to support the franchise after the City Group became one of eight successful bidders – out of 26 – who were successful in landing a franchise.
The Bloemfontein-based team will retain South African batsman David Miller as their franchise player and will play at the Mangaung Oval. Also in the competition are Durban (franchise player Hashim Amla), Benoni (Quinton de Kock), Pretoria (AB de Villiers), Cape Town (JP Duminy), Johannesburg (Kagiso Rabada) and Port Elizabeth (Imran Tahir). The owner of the Stellenbosch pulled out of the tournament on Monday.
For the Hong Kong tournament, City Kaitak brought in a number of highly rated overseas players such as Sri Lankan Tillakaratne Dilshan, West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran and Rayad Emrit, England’s Chris Jordan and Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer.
The draft for the Global T20 League, to be played over November and December, will be held at the end of the month.