England limited overs captain Eoin Morgan has been unveiled as one of eight “marquee” players for South Africa’s new domestic Twenty20 competition to be played in November and December this year.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced on Thursday that Morgan has signed up for the first two seasons of the tournament, along with two South African-born past and present England internationals, Kevin Pietersen and Jason Roy.
A trio of leading West Indies limited overs players, Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, will also feature, as well as ex-New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum and Sri Lanka seamer Lasith Malinga.
The eight will be distributed among the as yet unnamed teams via a draft system similar to that in the Indian Premier League. Each team will have 17 players in their squad, with a maximum of four from outside of South Africa.
CSA are inviting interest from prospective team owners with the deadline for submissions April 28.
Overseas players are also able to register their desire to join the draft, with the competition set to go head-to-head with the troubled Bangladesh Premier League and Dec. 16 pencilled in for the final.
“We are thrilled with the responses we are receiving from prospective team owners. No doubt this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both bidder and city,” CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.
“While the level of private investment we expect will be new to South African sport, we are also very interested in the level of expertise that owners will bring to all levels of the game in South Africa.”
There are 11 prospective venues open to the eight competing teams, with the sought-after stadiums in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban to go to the highest bidders.
“The eventual location of these franchises will be up to the bidders and the cities who see the opportunities to generate brand value and economic activity through the league,” Lorgat said.