Cricket SA pushing full steam ahead with domestic restructure

Thabang Moroe (Gallo)
Thabang Moroe (Gallo)

Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) is pushing full steam ahead with plans for a domestic restructure that will see the number of professional sides increase from six to 12

As has been well documented, the decision has been met with resistance from the South African Cricketers Association (SACA), who are demanding to see CSA's detailed financials before endorsing or opposing the proposed expansion. 

With SACA having taken legal action in an attempt to get CSA to produce those statements, the relationship between the two organisations has reached an all-time low

CSA CEO Thabang Moroe came out strongly in Johannesburg on Monday, suggesting that the role of SACA should be decreased with CSA taking on more of those player welfare responsibilities moving forward. 

One of the biggest stumbling blocks in the domestic restructure, however, is how the new model will impact existing and future player contracts. 

It is there where SACA becomes instrumental in the negotiations and it is difficult to see CSA moving forward without without having the players' association on board. 

Moroe has said previously, though, that CSA does not need SACA's permission to go ahead with the restructure, and that still seems to be the stance. 

"We've done the domestic cricket review over the past couple of years. During that time our president (Chris Nenzani) has mooted that there would be changes as far as structure is concerned," Moroe told media at CSA headquarters in Melrose. 

"That top tier (franchise system) has become a burdensome structure as far as the finances of CSA are concerned.

"If you look at the performances of that tier, they are not satisfactory. Essentially it is a structure that is costing us money, but not necessarily yielding results that we want to see."

Moroe added that, because of the franchise system's quota rule that demands six players of colour, including three black Africans, be picked in every starting team, there was a lot of movement of players between semi-professional and professional cricket that was proving problematic. 

"Because of us having targets, players tend to be called up to represent their franchises when there are injuries or shortfalls at the top, and similarly they get called from franchise to the Proteas," he said.

"More often than not, we found ourselves transgressing against the rules of the ICC when it comes to players moving up and down. I've had to explain to the ICC why we shouldn't be suspended or have points docked. It was causing too many administrative problems for us, so the best thing to do was to remove this one tier and bump of the first level.

"That creates more job opportunities for coaches and more opportunities for players to turn professional."

While CSA says the new system will have cut logistical costs and play a major role in decreasing the predicted financial losses over the next four years, it will also see a number of existing professional and semi-professional players out of contract. 

"When we do the rough calculation in our head, there would be about 70 players who lose their contracts," Moroe said.

"We feel it's the right way to go as CSA.

"You really have to be a poor performer to find yourself in that 70, if you think about it.

"There will be around 140 players who get to turn professional from semi-professional. We think we're giving everybody a fair opportunity now."

CSA are aiming for the restructure to be in place by 2021. 

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