Players body threatens legal action against CSA

Omphile Ramela of bizhub Highveld Lions during the Momentum One-Day Cup match between Warriors and bizhub Highveld Lions at Buffalo Park on January 11, 2018 in East London, South Africa.
Omphile Ramela of bizhub Highveld Lions during the Momentum One-Day Cup match between Warriors and bizhub Highveld Lions at Buffalo Park on January 11, 2018 in East London, South Africa.
Image: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images

South Africa’s players are threatening legal action against their administrators over what they say is the latter’s failure to consult with them about important issues.

A South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca) release on Friday said the organisation had written a letter to Cricket South Africa (CSA) that was “related to its failure to provide Saca with relevant financial information‚ and its decision to restructure domestic cricket”.

CSA has projected losses of R654-million for the rights cycle that ends in 2022 and plans to dismantle the six-team franchise structure in favour of a 12-team provincial system.

Relations between Saca and CSA hit bottom last month when CSA barred Saca chief executive Tony Irish from their chief executives’ meeting‚ which he has regularly attended in the past.

“We reiterate our concerns around the financial position and around a decision‚ which has significant consequences both for the game and the players‚ taken without regard to our agreements and without following the consultation process specifically provided for in our Recognition Agreement‚” the release said SACA president Omphile Ramela had written in the letter to CSA.

“Saca cares about the financial sustainability of the game‚ and this is not only about what happens next year but also about the years to come. Our concerns relating to this have simply been ignored by CSA.

“We also care about ensuring the best possible domestic structure for the players and the game and believe that this should be the subject of proper consultation and agreement instead of there being a decision‚ which will have significant consequences‚ forced on us and the players.”

Irish was quoted as saying that CSA’s “failure to comply with our agreements may well lead to legal action”.

But‚ as bad as the situation had been allowed to become‚ that bridge had yet to be burnt‚ Saca said.

“At the same time we are open to finding responsible solutions to the financial challenges facing cricket and to ensuring the best outcomes from a cricket point of view‚” Irish was quoted as saying.

“We have invited CSA to engage in mediation on the issues. If CSA fails to comply and does not accept our invitation to mediate Saca will be compelled to take the legal route.”

CSA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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