The South African Cricketers’ Association isn’t convinced that Cricket South Africa’s decision to exchange franchise cricket for provincial competition will succeed.
Earlier this week, CSA CEO Thabang Moroe confirmed the franchise system will be replaced by provincial cricket in 2021.
The Lions, Cape Cobras, Knights, Dolphins, Warriors and Titans will effectively be replaced by Gauteng, Western Province, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Border, Northerns and others.
‘We have expressed our concerns and have not heard anything back from CSA as yet,’ Irish told Sport24.
‘We need to feel comfortable that the finances and predictions are correct. That will determine how we respond to the proposed changes.
‘We want to act responsibly from an informed basis, but need CSA to respond to our queries in order to do this.
‘We know that there are financial challenges, but we need to be comfortable that the way it is being dealt with will actually ensure the long-term sustainability of cricket in the country.’
Limpopo and Mpumalanga will likely join the 12 other provincial teams in 2022.
While the T20 Challenge will be terminated, the Mzansi Super League will continue. The MSL was introduced late last year – and the Jozi Stars claimed the inaugural title after beating the Cape Town Blitz in the final.
‘Franchise cricket has been a huge burden to CSA’s coffers. We are pinning most of our work and commercial strategy on the Mzansi Super League to be the programme that is actually going to fund domestic cricket,’ said Moroe.
‘We have a three-phased process where we will see Cricket South Africa go back to 12 provinces, and we plan in the third year to either have Limpopo, Mpumalanga, or both, to become part of the first-class structure, which will take us to the 14-member competition.’
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