THE Board of Directors of Cricket South Africa (CSA) approved recommendations to continue with its transformation initiatives and specifically the development of Black African players at its recent meeting.
In the new season, franchises will be required to field at least five players of colour in all competitions, two of whom must be Black African. Teams playing in the 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.
The incentive scheme that was put in place last season will not be continued.
“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”, said CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat. “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.”
Increase in women’s national contracts
CSA has 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,” commented Mr. Lorgat.
“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’s team sponsor, Momentum, for their vision and ongoing support which has made this possible.”
Sustainability and Growth
The Board also held a joint meeting with the Members’ Forum at which the key point of discussion was 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,” explained Mr. Chris Nenzani, chairman of the Board and president of CSA. “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.
Some of the proposals discussed included activity based funding, centralising and/or consolidating 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. This 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 sponsorhip to launch this competition in the coming season," commented Mr. Lorgat.