Cricket South Africa ups transformation drive

23 June 2014

The board of directors of Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday announced further steps to drive its transformation initiatives, targeting black African players specifically.

In the upcoming season, local franchises will have to field at least five players of colour, two of them black Africans, in all competitions

Teams playing in semi-professional competitions will be required to field at least six players of colour, three of whom must be black Africans.

This means the target for players of colour that has been in place for the past 10 years will be increased by one in 2014/15.

‘Quality playing opportunities’

“CSA is determined to grow the pool of black African players by ensuring there is quality playing opportunities for such players in all forms of cricket,” CSA Chief Executive Officer Haroon Lorgat said in a statement.

“Having studied the results from last season’s experience, we have decided to increase the minimum number of players of colour by one.

“It is a fact that we have still not succeeded in unlocking the vast cricket talent among black African people and next season we will expect the affiliate and franchise Presidents, CEOs and their coaches to assume direct responsibility to do so.”

Women’s cricket

In a boost for women’s cricket, CSA said it had also decided to more than double the number of national professional contracts awarded to members of the Momentum National Women’s squad.

“Last season we had for the first time awarded contracts to six of our top women players and, together with the intensive training programmes at the High Performance Centre, this played a major role in the impressive results we achieved at the ICC World Twenty20, when we reached the semi-finals,” Lorgat said.

“We will now increase the number of national contracts to 14, which will enable us to have a full-time professional squad of players. I would like to thank our women’ team sponsor, Momentum, for their vision and ongoing support which has made this possible.”

Future sustainability

The Board also held a joint meeting with the Members’ Forum, with the key point of discussion being the future sustainability and growth of the game in South Africa. CSA management presented a new operating model to ensure sustainable advancement of the game in future.

“The joint meeting accepted in principle that we cannot sit back and do nothing while the sustainability and growth of the game is under threat,” Chris Nenzani, the Chairman of the Board and President of CSA said.

“This new model is intended to guide CSA, its affiliates, associates, franchises and stadia on how to optimally apply and allocate its resources to deliver on its strategies whilst sustaining itself in the process.

“The operational model is a work in progress at the moment, but everybody is agreed that it is a matter of urgency,” he concluded.

Proposals

Some of the proposals discussed included activity-based funding, centralising and/or consolidating of certain activities to take advantage of economies of scale and to grade stadia.

As part of the exercise, the CSA Board also confirmed, in principle, a proposal to introduce a new knock-out style T20 competition while reducing the number of matches played (from 13 to 10) by the semi-professional teams.

The competition will be contested by all the provincial affiliates and consideration will also be given to inviting teams from several African countries.

“It is critical for us to re-engineer ourselves to ensure future sustainability and growth and in this process we will search for a new sponsorship to launch this competition in the coming season,” Lorgat said.

SAinfo reporter