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Cricket SA braces for budget cuts and appointments freeze in bid to mitigate losses related to Covid-19

Jacques Faul during the CSA media briefing at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Jacques Faul during the CSA media briefing at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa’s acting chief executive officer Dr Jacques Faul said there would be budget cuts and appointment freezing to help mitigate losses related to Covid-19.

Faul also said all increases or bonuses will be put on hold while the budget will be reviewed in July. All appointments that aren’t essential will be put on hold‚ but this won’t apply to board or coaching appointments.

CSA has various coaching and selectorial vacancies that need to be filled ranging from the Under-19’s‚ women’s and the men’s national team.

“It doesn’t refer to board members‚ but to employment contracts. Coaching related appointments will go ahead because we need to hit the ground running when we open up but other administrative appointments will have to be put on hold‚” Faul said.

“For example‚ if there’s an administration position that’s not filled‚ it will be put on hold. It also makes sense to appoint coaches to avoid delay when we open up.”

CSA’s chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra said the possibility of creating a “bio-bubble” for cricket to be played is a reality‚ but it will require government approval.

“We can create a bio-bubble. We can test people a couple of days before they go in so we don’t get false negatives. It’s a very controlled environment‚ we can make sure those who are in the bubble don’t leave nor enter‚ but also ensure there’s social distancing within the bubble with regular testing‚” Manjra said.

“It’ll still need the permission of the government to proceed with that step depending on the stage of the lockdown.

"I can see a bio-bubble working at a stage three or stage two phase of the lockdown. Regardless of community transmission‚ you can create a bio-bubble.”

Manjra cited England’s example of creating bio-bubbles at grounds that have multiple facilities.

He pointed at Potchefstroom as an example as the JB Marks Oval is equipped with a hotel and training facilities in the same precinct. However‚ Manjra said international travel‚ currently prohibited in many countries‚ will have a massive say in this.

“England is looking at where they have a facility which has a hotel on site with the playing and training facilities in one area. That area can be confined and we need to look for that area here in South Africa‚ with Potchefstroom being the example with facilities being in the same area.”

“The tricky part with the bio-bubble is international travel. If you look at India‚ they’re easing their lockdown but the numbers are going up dramatically while players are returning to training in small groups or on their own.

"Will international travel be permitted? I can’t see large scale international travelling taking place in the next three months. That could be the limiting factor.”