While South Africa’s Test team were barely competitive in Australia, their new T20 league

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Ever since Brendon McCullum launched the Indian Premier League into the financial stratosphere with a stunning innings that lit up the inaugural match in 2008, other countries have worked feverishly to emulate it.

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After two aborted attempts, South Africa’s third effort to establish a vibrant franchised T20 competition got under way on Tuesday in Cape Town, and it found its own McCullum in the preternaturally talented Dewald Brevis.

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Imitation sprang readily to mind in this instance because all six of the South African franchises are owned by IPL teams: Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals own the teams in Cape Town and Paarl respectively, who were pitched against each other for the opening match.

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The privately owned element of cricket is becoming ever more concentrated in the hands of IPL owners, who will be itching to get involved in England when the time comes.