Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

South African Cricketers’ Association in the dark on domestic revamp

domestic cricketDomestic cricket in South Africa is set for sweeping changes but SACA don’t feel the direction is the right one.

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The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) are concerned about a lack of consultation from Cricket South Africa over a proposed restructuring of the domestic game.

CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe has revealed that the body will implement austerity measures to offset a predicted R654 million loss.

“A four-year deficit amounting to hundreds of millions of rands is unprecedented in South African cricket and is a serious concern to us as the representative of the players,” SACA chief executive Tony Irish said on Wednesday.

“The future of the game is in the balance and as a critical stakeholder we believe the players have a right to know what the financial position actually is, how it is being dealt with, and how this is going to affect not only them but also all other cricket stakeholders.

“We have asked CSA for clarity and to date it has not provided this. SACA wishes to act responsibly and play its part in dealing with the challenge but in order to do that CSA must play open cards with us and properly engage with us.”

Moroe has revealed that Cricket South Africa are pinning their hopes of financially viable domestic cricket on the Mzansi Super League, launched in 2018 after the 2017 T20 Global League debacle.

The proposed restructuring will mark the end of the era of franchise cricket in South Africa with the professional structures of the six existing top level teams to collapse into twelve provincial sides.

Boland, Border, Easterns, Gauteng, Northerns, KwaZulu-Natal (Coastal and Inland), North West, South Western Districts, Griqualand West, Free State, Eastern Province and Western Province compete in South Africa’s amateur provincial first class set up as it stands.

Moroe explained: “We have a three-phased process where we will see Cricket South Africa go back to 12 provinces and we plan in the third year to either have Limpopo or Mpumalanga – or both – become part of the first-class structure, which will take us to the 14-member competition.

“Franchise cricket has been a huge burden to CSA’s coffers. We are pinning most of our work and commercial strategy on the Mzansi Super League (MSL) to be the programme that is actually going to fund domestic cricket.”

The currently ongoing T20 Challenge competition will be scrapped after this season which CSA hopes will help save money on operating costs.

CSA general manager – Cricket, Corrie van Zyl said: “Obviously with us collapsing the franchise system into the senior provincial system, you will have lesser competition costs associated with the competitions.

“Next year, we’ll already be saving because of the termination of the T20 Challenge. From May 2020, we’ll be moving to a 12-affiliate first-class structure, which enables us to have a saving.”

Irish however feels that the move will be harmful to the game in South Africa. The SACA CEO opined that as many as 70 cricketers could be out of a job next season.

“This restructure, announced as part of cost-saving measures, is likely to lead to at least 70 players losing their contracts and many other players at franchise level having their earnings reduced. The ‘human impact’ of this is significant,” Irish said.

“SACA has a collective agreement in place with CSA, franchises and provinces, known as the MoU, which deals with these issues yet CSA has, in announcing this structure, disregarded that agreement.”

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