The South African Cricketers Association, the players union that represents the country’s professional players, will meet on Friday where a possible strike will be discussed. Photo: INLSA

The South African Cricketers Association, the players union that represents the country’s professional players, will meet on Friday where a possible strike will be discussed. 

The latest drama around South African cricket which is now in full blown crisis, emerged on Wednesday when SACA announced the commencement of a formal process against Cricket South Africa over players’ commercial rights. 

“CSA has used, and allowed the use of the names and images of players in association with a fantasy league game related to Mzansi Super League without any rights to do so and despite SACA having relayed to CSA that such use is unlawful,” SACA’s chief executive Tony Irish, said in a statement. “The situation has continued despite our concerns raised on repeated occasions, leaving us little option but to take formal steps.” 

 Cricket SA has been enveloped in controversy in recent months, including it’s seven month long court case with SACA over the restructuring of the domestic game, its loss in another court case against the Western Province Cricket Association, the suspension of three senior administrators, the banning of five journalists from covering matches, the resignation of an independent member of the Board of Directors and a lengthy debt crisis.

This latest action, only illustrates further the widening chasm between the players and Cricket SA’s administration which developed rapidly when Thabang Moroe first became CSA’s chief executive.

“SACA has also, and simply as a precaution, requested CSA to obtain clearance from its anti-corruption unit to ensure that this use of players in a pay-to-play game does not in any way constitute an association of the players with gambling, or encouragement of betting practices, which are not permitted under CSA’s anti-corruption code.  As far as we know this request has been ignored by CSA,” said Irish.

“This is yet another instance, in a growing line of instances, where CSA has flagrantly disregarded our agreements and, over the last week or so, failed to address SACA’s resulting concerns.  We now feel that enough is enough.”

“SACA has called a meeting of its Players Executive Committee and its Management Board for Friday 6th December 2019.  At this meeting we will again be discussing the manner in which SACA and the players are being treated by CSA.  This discussion is likely to include the possibility of the players taking some form of industrial, or protest, action.  SACA has always considered strike, and other similar forms of industrial action, to be a very last resort and in SACA’s 17 years of dealing with CSA to date not one day of cricket has ever been lost to industrial action.” 

“However things have now reached a stage where we must ask what SACA, and the players, are expected to do when the leadership of CSA, both operationally and on its Board, continues to ignore our legitimate concerns and refuses to acknowledge the players as key stakeholders in the game,” continued Irish.

@shockerhess 


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