JOHANNESBURG – Cricket SA and the SA Cricketers Association eventually brought a protracted period of controversy to an end Tuesday by finally agreeing to a Memorandum of Understanding that among other things regulates player contracts, including, for the first time, the country’s female cricketers.
The signing of the lengthy document - which numbers somewhere between 300 and 400 pages - will hopefully end the acrimony that grew between the two organisations after negotiations regarding the MoU began late and ran past the period during which player contracts ended.
Besides the main agreement which encompasses contracts and benefits for the players, the MoU for the first time includes a recognition agreement between CSA and SACA - the players union – which will form the basis for all future negotiations between the two bodies.
The relationship between CSA and Saca will take time to solidify as levels of angst and mistrust grew between the two organisations the longer the negotiations continued.
“The players who would didn’t necessarily understand Cricket SA’s stance definitely phoned me to try and get a better understanding of our stance and what it was we were trying to achieve,” said Cricket SA’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe.
Both Moroe and Saca’s chief executive Tony Irish, said the tough negotiations that had occured in the last few months would hopefully mean that the next time the MoU is negotiated, somewhere around the 2021/22 season, it would be easier.
The inclusion of the country’s women’s players in the revenue share model is significant, but any thoughts about them earning the same amounts as their male counterparts was unrealistic at this stage.
“The objective is to close the gap (salaries between men and women) and it has closed in the last year and a half,” said Irish. “Whether we will reach that point where there is exact equality is a real challenge not just for South Africa but all around the world.
That is as a result of where the women’s game is as opposed to the men’s game. At international level, ICC level and most of the full member countries there’s a real push to grow women’s cricket.”
Global League T20 update
Meanwhile Moroe also confirmed that the Cricket SA’s Board of Directors had agreed that the soon to be re-established Global League T20 will have six teams participating. That is two less than the original figure for the event which was cancelled when Cricket SA failed to sign a broadcast or event sponsor.
Cricket SA have subsequently entered into a deal with satellite broadcaster SuperSport to re-establish the competition which will be held in November and December this season.
The federation has hired Nielsen Sports - a company which provides analytics and data for the sports industry - to complete a report which will help CSA decide where the six teams will be based.
The competition is likely to cause confusion for the general public given that it has the same number of teams as the RamSlam provincial franchise competition, but that is a bridge CSA will likely cross when they get to it. Moroe said he was still negotiating a tournament sponsor.
In addition he is set to hold talks with disgruntled owners who had bought into the competition in its previous guise when he heads to Dubai and Mumbai next week. Some of those owners have said Cricket SA didn’t act in good faith when it cancelled the tournament and that they had not been properly compensated for their investments
Some owners have said they are prepared to head to court to seek compensation.