South Africa’s newest T20 league – SA20 – is almost considered as a sister of the biggest T20 leagues, the Indian Premier League. Before the launch of the competition, there were several reports that suggested that the Indian retired stars, such as MS Dhoni could be involved as a mentor with the SA20 franchise.
However, since then, the reports have been proved wrong with BCCI sticking true to its decision of not allowing active Indian players in the tournament. Graeme Smith, the commissioner of the inaugural SA20 insisted that it will be amazing to have Dhoni associated with the competition.
"It will be amazing to have a guy like MS here. We respect the BCCI's decision. We have created a good working relationship with them and we talk to them regularly, learn and bounce ideas off. They are hugely experienced in organising these type of big events," Smith said in a media interaction.
Alongside that, Smith also reckoned that there were thoughts of including retired Indian stars in the competition but came to a consensus to build a vibrant young.
"From our perspective, we looked at one or two opportunities (retired Indian players). We wanted to build vibrant young and up and coming competitive cricketing league. Someone like MS would add a lot of value to our league to it. If there was an opportunity, I will be reaching out to him.
"We have a close relationship with the BCCI and nothing of that sort has been raised," Smith asserted.
Until now, SA20 has had a positive review with several matches jam-packed, and Smith insisted that the league has been blessed with some great individual performances from South Africans.
"The league has been blessed with some great individual performances from South Africans as well the international names.
"Then at the stadiums to be able to get this type of energy we have got from our fans capturing the imagination after a negative period in the game has been incredible," he added.