CAPE TOWN – The SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca) has called on Cricket South Africa to establish an independent review into the decision to postpone the T20 Global League, and that players may seek compensation as a result.
Cricket SA took the plunge on Tuesday by choosing to rather delay the T20 tournament by a year to November 2018, stating that “we have reassessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well”.
It is understood that a large part of that decision is based on the lack of a viable TV broadcast deal on the table, as well as a tournament sponsor.
That was believed to be the key reason for the dramatic exit of former chief executive Haroon Lorgat, with both parties mutually agreeing to part ways.
But Lorgat had delivered the players and franchise owners, including Bollywood superstars Shah Rukh Khan (Cape Town Knight Riders) and Preity Zinta (Stellenbosch Kings), and it was expected that vice president and acting CEO Thabang Moroe would conclude a TV in the coming days before the slated November 3 kickoff at Newlands.
But now that won’t be happening, and it could have dire consequences for CSA as many of the players would have deflected other contracts in order to play at the T20 Global League.
The Australian Big Bash and the Bangladesh T20 tournament take place around the same time that the T20GL would’ve been played.
“Confirmation of postponement of the league was communicated to me in a teleconference of CSA’s Board and Members Council earlier today,” said Saca chief executive Tony Irish in a statement on Tuesday.
Disappointing day for cricketers in SA. Hopefully there will be a good ending for the players.
“At this stage, we’re unsure of exactly what a postponement means, other than the fact that it’s clear the league will not take place this year. We will be seeking clarity from CSA on the further implications.
“This has a very significant impact on a large number of local and overseas players, all of whom have signed contracts to play in the league.
“Some players turned down other opportunities in order to commit themselves to these contracts. We will be looking at all implications of this for players, including what compensation should be paid to them.
“Saca is well aware of the fact that this will also affect various other groups, including franchises, coaches and stadium owners.
“I think it will be necessary for CSA to appoint its own independent review into what has actually transpired here, as there are significant implications across South African cricket.”
Some of the biggest deals of the 144 players contracted to the eight T20GL teams were Chris Morris’ R1.755 million with the Durban Qalandars, and Andile Phehlukwayo’s R1.3 million at the Jo’burg Giants.