Cricket SA considers new split-format contracting model

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  • Cricket South Africa's director of cricket Enoch Nkwe expects the game move in the direction of split-format contracts.
  • It's something that’s already in place in England and the West Indies as T20 leagues extend their grip on world cricket.
  • Nkwe said cricket will slowly move to the same contracting models prevalent in football and rugby.

Cricket South Africa's director of cricket Enoch Nkwe said they're already engaging in conversations around split-format contracts as the cricket world changes around them.

South Africa's new Future Tours Program schedule has seen a reduction in international engagements to make space for the SA20 and the Indian Premier League window that's now standard across world cricket.

The England and Wales Cricket Board, along with Cricket West Indies (CWI), are already ahead of the curve with splitting format contracts, with the former board being in the healthier financial position to do so.

CWI has long allowed players to be on different contracts, with the small caveat of availing themselves for domestic tournaments if they're angling for International Cricket Council tournament participation.

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Nkwe said the move to split contracting is unavoidable, but it will have to be eased in a thorough manner that all parties are happy with.

"We're going to engage further in the next two months with the player's association to ensure that we're all aligned," Nkwe said.

"The conversations around the changing landscape of the game have already started because the leagues are having a massive impact from a financial perspective.

"The need to create a model that benefits all the involved parties now becomes important to ensure that there's longevity.

"We can manage players better and also look at how we can grow player pools. Contracts will become a big thing so we're looking into that space.

"We may need to give it a trial period to see if it works and deal with the challenges that stem from that.

"If it means we have three different contracting models, then so be it because I suspect at some point, cricket will have the same model as rugby and football."

Nkwe conceded that the domination of T20 Leagues will force boards to relinquish control of players and see the game move towards the rugby and football contracting model.

However, Nkwe said the lure of playing in ICC tournaments will always keep players interested in representing their national teams.

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"We may not have the full control of players going forward because of the proliferation of leagues, the players also need the ICC tournaments," Nkwe said.

"They need them to keep their profiles up and the players know that there's nothing more satisfying than playing for your country.

"Every player will say that when it comes to the ICC tournaments, the country comes first and from the conversations I've had with players, they want to play for South Africa."

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