Cricket South Africa has announced its new domestic system, which will feature two tiers consisting of eight and seven teams, respectively.
The principle of the system is based on the David Richardson report, which CSA agreed to at the start of the year.
The new structure will accommodate 15 first-class teams, instead of the known six-team franchise system. The teams will be split into two divisions with eight teams in Division 1 and seven teams in Division 2 in a promotion-relegation format.
Division 1 will group Boland, Eastern Province, Free State, Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal Coastal, North-West, Northerns, Western Province together, while the South Western Districts, Easterns, Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland, Border, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga will make up Division 2.
A task team was appointed early in 2020 to address the idea of expanding the domestic game in South Africa. Richardson led the negotiations as CSA and the South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca) explored the option of restructuring. It was then accepted by the CSA members’ council.
Division 1 will follow a similar schedule to the current franchise system, which includes participation in a four-day series, a one-day cup and the annual Mzansi Super League.
The teams from Division 1 will also contest a knockout T20 competition with the seven teams from Division 2.
Division 2 players will have an opportunity to play in the MSL via a player draft, while its regular season will consist of a four-day and one-day competition. The divisions will remain the same for 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons before the promotion-regulation aspect will come into effect.
CSA also announced that they will implement 42 semi-professional women’s contracts to participate in the national league.
More to follow …