JOHANNESBURG – The Cricket World Cup will be a useful distraction for Cricket South Africa.
Linda Zondi, the national selection convener will announce the names of the 15 men who will play in the tournament in England from the end of next month at 1pm today.
That squad will dominate the cricket news cycle through the Easter weekend.
The week leading up to the opening game on May 30 - World Cup, World Cup, World Cup.
If they somehow win the thing, for the federation there will be added gratefulness about such a triumph being an even bigger distraction. Heck, a place in the final would be sufficient distraction.
Such an occurrence may even help Cricket South Africa out of what is potentially the biggest crisis the sport in this country has faced since Hansie Cronje agreed to fix portions of international matches.
It still may not save CSA however.
The chasm between the sport’s administrators and the players is wide. The players are somewhere between bemused and furious over CSA’s proposal to switch from six professional teams to 12. The players, through their representatives the South African Cricketers Association have a lot of questions.
Head over to our Instagram stories right now to see how we’re putting the final touches of the #ProteaFire #CWC19 squad announcement together. We’re @ cricket_south_africa 🇿🇦🏏🔥 pic.twitter.com/yNHQesuiyQ— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) April 18, 2019
CSA finds itself in a financial hole and expects to make losses of R654-million. They are hoping to shave some R300-million off those predicted losses, with the restructuring a central aspect in making that happen. But CSA needs the players’ support and right now they don’t have that.
And bulldozing through these measures won’t work either. They need to provide in-depth data that outlines how 12 provinces won’t further eat away at their coffers when compared to the current six franchises which the organisation claims cost R90-million a year to run. The measures, according to CSA, won’t impact players’ salaries.
How is that possible?
SACA wrote to CSA wanting to know those and other details. When CSA went public with its restructuring plans last Friday it stated it had reached agreement in principle with SACA about the changes.
“This is not correct, and SACA has yet to agree to any restructure,” the association’s president, Omphile Ramela, said.
The gloves are off. But CSA can set the issues aside, for now. Everyone’s attention is drawn elsewhere - to a World Cup.@shockerhess