Cricket South Africa may currently be in a relatively healthy financial state, but for that to continue theyre heavily dependent on India undertaking a full tour this summer. Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa may currently be in a relatively healthy financial state, but for that to continue they’re heavily dependent on India undertaking a full tour here this summer.

Cricket SA announced a loss of R133 million for the financial year that ended April 30 at their AGM yesterday, but it was a loss that had been budgeted for in terms of the organisation’s four-year financial cycle. That cycle works according to budgets that encompass “good” years when teams like India and England tour the country, and revenues increase as a result of better television deals with international production houses.

New Zealand and Pakistan, who toured here last summer are not teams deemed “sexy” enough by international TV stations, hence the loss. This summer, though, sees India and Australia tour, and next year’s financial statements will hopefully reflect a profit.

Of course for that to happen, Cricket SA are dependent on their president, Chris Nenzani, and the Lead Director, Norman Arendse, succeeding in maintaining India’s full schedule for their tour to South Africa later this year. The duo were meeting the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s president, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, in Mumbai yesterday.

At the time of going to press, no announcement had been made of the outcome.

Cricket SA draws the majority of its income from broadcast rights, especially with international broadcasters. This year’s income was just over R159m, down from 2012 when it raked in over R276m on the back of a season that included – a shortened – tour by Australia.

Cricket SA’s total revenue over the four-year cycle from 2011-2014 is budgeted at R2.3 billion, and thanks to interest and foreign gains they are anticipating a net profit of R286m over the period.

The current four-year cycle ends next year, and CSA’s chief financial officer, Nassei Appiah, said the next cycle will get off to a weak start – the West Indies tour here next summer – which places an even greater emphasis on Nenzani succeeding in saving India’s tour.

In addition to the financial report adopted at the AGM, CSA also announced the introduction of new transformation initiatives for black African cricketers that chief executive Haroon Lorgat stressed weren’t quotas. All franchise teams must pick at least one black African cricketer in their starting line-ups. If they pick an additional player, for more than 70 percent of matches in each format, the franchise will be “reimbursed the average contract cost of the qualified black African players”.

“It is incentive-based,” said Lorgat “We are not talking about quotas or sanctions, we are talking about incentivising the franchises and similarly the affiliates at a semi-professional level.” Players picked beyond the two-player threshold won’t be compensated for by CSA. Money will be drawn from CSA’s strategic transformation fund, which has a total budget of R14m.

Lorgat explained that research conducted by Corrie van Zyl, CSA’s General Manager – Cricket, had indicated that the drop-off rate for black African players developed through the system was much higher than for white players. “If we had the same retention rate (as for white players), we would have a lot more black African players. “

Lorgat said CSA were still trying to understand the reason for the drop-off, which could include social problems or blockages in CSA’s system (coaches not picking players, or other players being superior).

“The drop-off rate is from about 43 percent (black African) representivity at Coke week (the Under-19 tournament) to 14 percent at franchise level,” said CSA vice-president Peter Cyster. - Sunday Independent