JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the players union, the South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca) are heading for a showdown over the federation’s plans for restructuring the domestic system.
CSA announced at the weekend that as from the 2020/21 season it is doing away with the current six team franchise system and returning to a 12-team provincial structure. The move is part of numerous cost cutting measures being implemented by CSA.
Last year CSA told Parliament’s portfolio committee for sport and recreation that it was forecasting losses of R654 million for the four year period ending in April 2022. With the new provincial structure, along with other belt-tightening measures, it hoped to lower that figure to R350-million.
However, the country’s professional players, represented by Saca, said yesterday they weren’t informed of the new plans and accused CSA of being in breach of the Memorandum of Understanding it signed with Saca last year.
“CSA has not properly consulted with the players association either on the actual financial position or on any restructuring of the domestic structure,” Saca’s chief executive Tony Irish said yesterday.
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“CSA and Saca are parties to a MOU, which requires actual agreement to any domestic restructure and the players contracts under that structure. That has not happened.”
Irish added that Saca would be seeking an urgent meeting this week with CSA over the changes, which were announced following a meeting of CSA’s provincial affiliates which finished on Saturday.
Saca will be seeking an urgent meeting with CSA this week to outline its concerns.
CSA’s Members Council – made up of its provincial affiliates – held a two day meeting that ended on Saturday where the new structure was agreed upon.
It means that provincial competitions will return to a structure that will see Gauteng, Northerns, Western Province, Boland, South Western Districts, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Province, Border, Free State, Northern Cape, Easterns and North West play against each other in competitions which have yet to be determined. CSA are also looking to add Limpopo and Mpumalanga once they gain first class status.
The exact details of the restructuring still needs to be thrashed out, along with details about player contracts, which are among some of the issues that are of concern to Saca.
One major source of income for CSA is its next broadcast deal which it must thrash out with satellite broadcaster SuperSport in the next few months.
Another important element will be getting money for the Mzansi Super League, which – including in its previous guise as the T20 Global League -has cost CSA in the region of R300 million to get up and running.
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