Embattled local cricket goes ‘Greek’ as cash becomes tight_1

South Africa’s domestic cricketers, much like Greece had to do after the great recession of a decade ago, officially moved into austerity as Cricket South Africa announced a revised competitions structure for next season. Although the six franchises will remain at the top tier of professional cricket, they will play a reduced number of games. In both the four-day tournament and the Momentum One-Day Cup, the franchises will be split into two groups of three. ALSO READ: CSA make a call on franchise champions Each group will play each other home and away, while also playing a single round against...
South Africa’s domestic cricketers, much like Greece had to do after the great recession of a decade ago, officially moved into austerity as Cricket South Africa announced a revised competitions structure for next season.

Although the six franchises will remain at the top tier of professional cricket, they will play a reduced number of games.

In both the four-day tournament and the Momentum One-Day Cup, the franchises will be split into two groups of three.

ALSO READ: CSA make a call on franchise champions

Each group will play each other home and away, while also playing a single round against the teams in the other group.

The teams that top the two groups will then contest the final.

If the four-day final is drawn then the trophy will be shared.

It means franchises will play at least two fewer four-day games and the 50-over competition is also reduced by 10 matches overall.

CSA chief executive Jacques Faul confirmed on Wednesday that the move was all about cost-cutting for the financially-strapped body that was already facing losses of close to a billion rand before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s about costs, that’s all. We’re anticipating the effect of Covid-19 as well as our own resources, and we’re also going into a busy time in terms of the Future Tours Programme for the Proteas,” Faul told The Citizen on Wednesday.

South African Cricketers Association CEO Andrew Breetzke said the players had agreed to compromise on playing opportunities for the sake of the financial health of the game.

“This is the first round of austerity and there will be less cricket days for our members. It is a compromise but we need to save money, there needs to be a balance between opportunities to play and the cost of running those competitions. But we also need to keep the pipeline going. There was talk about going to three-day cricket but we said you can never do that if you want to prepare for Test cricket.

“CSA took on board all our points and to their credit they went back and changed things. I would like to commend CSA for the level of engagement and also Stephen Cook, our cricket operations and player engagement manager, who has put in a lot of work. We would obviously have liked more cricket days, but South African cricket is at the moment like a child being punished for the sins of the father,” Breetzke told The Citizen.

Wednesday’s CSA statement did not mention the Mzansi Super League, but the expectation amongst franchise coaches is that the showpiece T20 event will now go back to being held under the auspices of the six franchises.

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