- Boland and North-West will be taking part in the top eight division of South Africa's new domestic cricket system.
- They will be joined by Free State, Western Province, Eastern Province, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Gauteng and Northerns.
- The teams will stay in their respective positions for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons, from where promotion/relegation will be in force.
Boland and North-West are the two fortunate unions who have broken into the top eight of the reconstructed domestic cricket system that will be in place from next season.
Boland and North West are joined by Eastern Province, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal, Northerns and Western Province.
The second division will consist of South Western Districts, Easterns, Border, KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
These divisions will be in place for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 seasons, from where there will be automatic promotion and relegation.
Former Proteas wicket-keeper and International Cricket Council chief executive officer David Richardson, who headed a task team that looked after the domestic restructure, said the bidding process was a very competitive one from all the unions barring Mpumalanga.
Richardson said they didn’t submit a bid to be included in the top division, but the proposals from Boland and North-West were compelling.
“In Boland’s case, they have a tremendous fan-base there in the coloured community. They have a love of cricket there, along with a strong culture They have ambitions when it comes to the development of their stadium. Their development pathways are excellent and they produce results,” Richardson said.
“They have produced players for the franchise system and their provincial team has played consistently well over the past four years.”
North-West, who partnered with Gauteng as part of the Lions franchise, had the North-West University cricket set-up as one of the key reasons for getting into the big time.
While Richardson said the North-West are well administrated, the union has been under Cricket South Africa’s administration since December 2018 because of fraud allegations related to funds that were made available for stadium upgrades at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
“I think North-West are well administered, they have developed their infrastructure tremendously and at the North-West University, they’ve got a massive opportunity to attract and retain players in the province. Their on-field performances have also been consistent in the past four years,” Richardson said.
Cricket South Africa’s acting chief executive officer Pholetsi Moseki, who said they will be meeting with North-West cricket on Wednesday, with the ostensible reason being the issue of the union’s administration, said the two years will give the seven division two teams a chance to get themselves ready on and off the field for the promotion/relegation challenge.
“We hope that in the next two years, the other teams will prepare themselves and will get the necessary support from the head office and everyone else to ensure when they get promoted after two years, they will be ready to compete in division one, Moseki said.