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SJN Report calls for a review of payment system in women’s cricket

The Proteas Women’s team have taken big strides on the international front over the last few years. Picture: @OfficialCSA via Twitter

The Proteas Women’s team have taken big strides on the international front over the last few years. Picture: @OfficialCSA via Twitter

Published Dec 16, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Office of the Transformation Ombudsman, called on Cricket SA to accelerate the development of women’s cricket, stating it had been neglected for too long.

The findings were published in the final report of the Social Justice and Nation Building project which was made publicly available on Wednesday.

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While Transformation Ombudsman, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza acknowledged that CSA had made strides in the last decade to improve access and build better infrastructure for women cricketers, he also outlined how a lot more needed to be done.

“It is clear from the evidence presented before the OTO that women’s cricket has a painful history of gender discrimination and sexism,” the report noted. “It would appear that even after the unification of cricket, women’s cricket predictably remained at the back of the pecking order.”

Plenty of evidence from officials at CSA and the SA Cricketers Association indicated how revenue for women’s cricket remained low, and that in fact the men’s game basically funded their female counterparts.

“CSA needs to appreciate that the reason most of its revenue is derived from male cricket is because of the systematic and systemic gender based exclusion of women from any participation in the sport.”

“Therefore while CSA now appears to have adopted a hands-on approach towards the development of women’s cricket, it is the OTO’s considered view that CSA should accelerate its efforts in this regard,” Ntsebeza commented.

The report gave special praise to Jacques Faul, Cricket SA’s former two-times acting CEO and the current CEO of the Northerns Cricket Union for what it called his “candour and integrity.”

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During his testimony Faul said he was “ashamed,” at how little work was being done in the women’s game at provincial level. “Cricket SA got it right first. At affiliate level we don’t do justice (to women’s cricket),” Faul told the hearings in October.

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“Listening to the almost self-flagellation utterances about their shortcomings as CSA was disarmingly welcome,” the SJN report noted about Faul. “His evidence had a ring of honesty and integrity.”

Meanwhile Ntesebeza’s report also called on CSA to review the payment system for players. While praising CSA for increasing fees for reserve players, the report called on the organisation to examine “the purpose of match fees and whether there are less restrictive means which are available to fill such a purpose.”

“The current match fee system has the effect of punishing reserve players for not playing by denying them equal remuneration,” the report stated.

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A number of players had raised the issues of match fees during the hearings, questioning the vast disparity between players, who picked to start matches, and those who carried out 12th man duties.

“To the OTO the effects of a parity of match fees appears to be acutely felt by African players, who face the added challenge of access to playing opportunities which impacts on their ability to earn.”

In a statement accompanying the report’s release on Wednesday, CSA said it would “engage” more with the report in the new year.

@shockerhess

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