KZN Inland fighting potential closure

2019-05-28 17:16
KZN Inland manager Jason Sathiaseelan says they are fighting to avoid a chop from Cricket SA.
PHOTO: gallo images

KZN Inland manager Jason Sathiaseelan says they are fighting to avoid a chop from Cricket SA. PHOTO: gallo images

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KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket are fighting for survival and have sent an urgent application to Cricket South Africa (CSA) to be included in a new structure coming into play for domestic cricket next year.

Recently, the CSA board approved plans that will see South Africa’s six franchise teams expand to 12 provincial teams from May 2020.

However, the new structure does not include KZN Inland and this means the death of the semi-professional outfit as the Dolphins will be the only KZN team.

KZN Inland boss Jason Sathiaseelan says CSA’s decision to leave them out of the new system is a huge disappointment and so they have written to the national association requesting to be included.

“Obviously we are disappointed that KZN Inland has not been included in the new structure of CSA for the senior provincial teams.

“We’ve found out that it’s only for CSA affiliates, so therefore we have now made an application to be considered for affiliate status,” said Sathiaseelan, whose organisation is a sub-union of KZN Cricket, which is based in Durban.

“We have actually submitted our application today. I believe the decision has to be taken in the Annual General Meeting which takes place in September, hopefully we will get a positive response. We have the support of KZN cricket union.”

Sathiaseelan said local cricket would be severely set back should Inland cease to exist.

CSA communication head Koketso Gaofetoge said he couldn’t confirm if the new structure actually meant the end of Inland as CSA was still to confirm which sides have made the cut.

However, he did confirm that only direct affiliates of CSA would be part of the new structure.

“I can only comment once I’ve seen the numbers of teams that have made the cut,” said Gaofetoge.

“Once that information comes to my desk I will communicate that information using the proper channels.”

According to sources, KwaZulu-Natal will only have one team in the proposed structure while provinces such as Gauteng and Western Cape are believed to have about three teams each.

It’s also believed that the new KZN side will only contract 15 players.

“This basically impacts our entire pipeline because it’s difficult now to promote cricket in the Inland area when there’s no team for players to aspire to,” said Sathiaseelan.

“What we do know now is that there will be no senior team and probably no academy in place because the academy feeds to the senior team. So, it will have a very negative impact on cricket in the Inland region,” he said.

“The saddest thing is that Inland has got six cricket districts, which is the largest in the entire country and not to have a senior team that the districts can feed into is very damaging for cricket in Inland.”

Sathiaseelan said it’s not only Inland’s contracted players who would be without their jobs if Inland didn’t maintain their status but back room staff as well, as they might have to close the office at PMB City Oval.

Inland has been a stepping stone for a number of well-known players over the years, such as David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi and Sarel Erwee.

The SA Cricketers Association are also known to be fighting the new system because many professional players would fall by the wayside.

Read more on:    cricket
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