SA cricket board plans austerity mission; cricketers’ body fears players losing contracts
SACA also desired to play a role in dealing with the challenges but alleged that the CSA went ahead with its plans without having proper discussions with them says Tony Irish, the chief executive of SACA.
Updated - Apr 10, 2019 9:52 pm
The austerity drive planned by Cricket South Africa (CSA) has not gone down well with the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) which is of the opinion that such a programme is likely to witness at least 70 players losing their contracts. The CSA’s plan includes restructuring of the domestic cricket from franchise to a first-class cricket system, re-organisation of domestic T20 competitions, optimizing contracts with players besides postponing or suspending new project(s) that do not promise enough revenue potential.
Tony Irish, the chief executive of the SACA, said it also desired to play a role in dealing with the challenges but alleged that the CSA went ahead with its plans without having proper discussions with them. “CSA has instead gone ahead with the announcement of a restructure of domestic cricket, to effectively merge the franchise and provincial systems, as part of its austerity plan, without any meaningful consultation with SACA and despite the fact that this will directly affect the players,” InsideSport cited reports quoting Irish as saying.
“This restructure, announced as part of cost-saving measures, is likely to lead to at least 70 players losing their contracts and many other players at franchise level having their earnings reduced.”
“Human impact is significant”
“The ‘human impact’ of this is significant. SACA has a collective agreement in place with CSA, franchises and provinces, known as the MOU, which deals with these issues yet CSA has, in announcing this structure, disregarded that agreement.”
SACA’s president Omphile Ramela said they have communicated their concerns to the country’s cricket board but alleged that there was no reciprocation from the latter. In a statement, Ramela said the players’ livelihoods depend on the game’s financial sustainability but said this is not about the players but the future of the very sport in South Africa.
On Saturday, CSA approved the austerity plans amid reducing revenues, largely due to declining income from broadcast rights and shaky sponsorships.
“In order to respond to the changing market forces and declining revenue-generation landscape, we had to design a cogent four-year recovery plan that would ensure that we break-even and accumulate profit while refining our operating model,” CSA Board chairperson Chris Nenzani was quoted as saying.
South Africa has seen a high exodus of player who have given up their dreams of playing for the national side and opted for the Kolpak deal to ensure financial security.