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SACA denies agreeing to franchise restructure

Cricket South Africa (CSA) held a briefing on Friday saying that SACA had agreed to the move and have been consulted with throughout the process.

Picture: @SACAplayers/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) has again denied agreeing to a restructuring of the South African cricket franchise system.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) held a briefing on Friday saying that SACA had agreed to the move and have been consulted with throughout the process.

The governing body announced earlier this month that at the end of the 2019/2020 season the structure of the domestic game would revert to a more traditional setup with 12 provincial teams as opposed to the current model, where there are only six teams.

During the briefing, head of cricket pathways, Corrie Van Zyl, said that they have engaged with SACA on the restructure and that they have in principle been in support of the idea.

However SACA Chief Executive, Tony Irish said that CSA has not properly consulted with them on the restructure.

“There has been no discussion with us on how any restructure would actually work and I have consistently stated to CSA that SACA cannot make any decision on this at least until we understand the financial position and the ‘human impact’ on the players”, said Irish.

SACA President, Omphile Ramela added that they are concerned about how this will financially impact the players. “Going to 12 teams may well have some pluses and may give some players more opportunity to play at a higher level, but there is also no doubt that many other players will lose their jobs as professional cricketers. It is also very likely that if this is part of cost-saving exercise players are going to end up earning less. If CSA says that is not the case then we want to understand how that is actually going to be possible.”

Despite growing concerns, CSA also said that they are financially stable and that this move is necessary to avoid slipping into a financial crisis.

According to acting chief financial officer Ziyanda Nkuta, CSA would be able to limit their financial losses over the next four years to R200 million as opposed to the forecasted amount of R654 million if the system had stayed the same.

Ramela said that despite this, they are still worried about the financial position that CSA are in. “We want to understand exactly how that is being dealt with and be comfortable with what the deficit, including the MSL, actually is. We will then know the extent of the financial challenge and can be part of the solution to that challenge. We have addressed our specific, constructive concerns to CSA in writing but have still had no reply. The statements made yesterday have given us no further clarity on this. It’s our duty as the representative of all the players to make decisions from a fully informed position.”

Ramela said that a restructure should also benefit the players and have called on CSA to address the issues that have been raised.

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