Cricket South Africa and the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) are pleased to announce that amicable agreement has been reached in terms of compensation to be paid to the players who were to play for various franchises in the inaugural 2017 edition of the T20 Global League.

The League was postponed to 2018 in terms of a decision taken by the Board of Directors of CSA at its meeting on 10 October 2017.

Payment will be made in three equal instalments between December 2017 and April 2018.

“I would like to thank SACA for the amicable manner in which this issue was settled in the best interests of South African cricket and the sustainability of its development and international cricket programmes,” commented CSA Acting Chief Executive Thabang Moroe. “The settlement will help bridge the gap between player expectation and the disappointment of having to postpone the league.

“Our players are key stake holders in the game and are also CSA’s most valuable assets which is why we invest heavily in our development programmes to produce our best possible national side.

“We look forward to continuing this positive relationship with our players and their representatives,” concluded Mr. Moroe.

“This was an issue affecting 138 South African and foreign players and we’re very happy that we’ve been able to resolve it for all of them,” said Tony Irish, chief executive of SACA. “The settlement is both fair and responsible and has been well received by the players. I would like to thank Cricket South Africa for its role in ensuring this outcome.”

A maiden century from Reeza Hendricks help the bizhub Highveld Lions secure a thrilling last-ball victory over the Hollywoodbets Dolphins in their RAM SLAM T20 Challenge match in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

The opener ended unbeaten on 102 (72 balls, 12 fours), but it was the composure of Wiaan Mulder that got them over the line after the visitors threatened to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Chasing 169 for victory, the home side were cruising along merrily on 158 for none – needing 11 from 11 balls – with Hendricks’ fellow opener Rassie van der Dussen (57 runs off 42 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) providing an excellent support act at Senwes Park.

But Andile Phehlukwayo (2/26) dismissed the latter as well as Mangaliso Mosehle (0) first ball to leave nine to get from the final over.

Five came from the first three of Robbie Frylinck’s (1/35) over, before two more batsmen fell in Nicky van den Bergh and Dwaine Pretorius, both for 1, with Mulder facing and three needed from the last ball.

The young all-rounder kept his cool to script a second win for the Lions that vaulted them to second on the standings.

Earlier the Dolphins needed a blistering unbroken 52-run seventh wicket stand to give themselves hope after they had slumped to 116/6 with 3.1 overs to go.

Morne van Wyk (42) was the only top-order batsman to shine, leaving pressure on the lower order with Sibonelo Makhanya thumping 46 off 34 balls alongside Keshav Maharaj (10) to give the Durbanites hope.

But it proved a few runs short as the home side made a heavy work of what should have been a straightforward win.

VBK Knights coach Nicky Boje and his Multiply Titans counterpart Mark Boucher are both content with the starts their sides have made to the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge competition but know they face a tough battle when they clash in round two at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Wednesday.

Both were eight-wicket winners when the tournament began over the weekend, with the hosts winning away at the Warriors in Port Elizabeth thanks to half-centuries from captain Theunis de Bruyn and David Miller.

The visitors thumped the Highveld Lions in the second match of a double header in Centurion where their skipper, Albie Morkel, and AB de Villiers were the stars.

“I’m pleased with the way the first outing went, the way the guys bowled and fielded,” Boje said. “The two experienced players there with the bat came through well to take us to the win, so all in all, it was a satisfying way to start.”

The four mentioned names are all international quality players and with all the Proteas available for the competition this season, Boje knows they face a tough task in the Northern Cape.

“The Titans are a quality side with quality throughout their squad,” he added.

“They have plenty of big names, but it’s not about that at the end of the day. It’s how you play in the match that counts. We’ll be going out there trying to make sure we do our basics right in a competition that is looking great with all the internationals playing.”

Boucher, meanwhile, will have been satisfied to have started the white-ball part of the season with a victory.

The defending champions were the only side among the three opening round winners to have triumphed with a bonus point, but their demanding coach wants more.

“It was good to start with a win, but I still thought we were a little bit rusty,” he said. “I don’t think we bowled particularly well and I don’t think we fielded particularly well.

“Obviously we have a strong batting line-up and I think it made the game look a lot easier than it actually was. So there’s a lot of areas I feel we can improve on going into Wednesday.”

Nine of the 11 players that turned out for the Titans on Sunday have international experience and Boucher is pleased that so many Proteas are part of the competition this year.

“I think the Proteas playing is going to raise the standard of cricket because it’s going to give a lot of the domestic players an opportunity they rarely have, which is to test themselves and sort of judge themselves as to how good they really are when they are up against a Proteas bowler or batter,” he concluded.

The two-time defending champs are further bolstered by the return of Dale Steyn on Wednesday.

The Standard Bank Proteas wrapped up the Momentum ODI Series with a 200-run victory over Bangladesh in the final match at Buffalo Park in East London on Sunday. The 3-0 series victory gives them the No. 1 ICC ranking in this format for the time being.

Today’s victory was marred by the lower back injury suffered by captain Faf du Plessis, who was unbeaten on 91 at the time (67 balls, 10 fours and a six), having shared a third wicket record partnership against Bangladesh of 151 with new cap Aiden Markram.

It was all that was going to stop the South African captain recording his 9th hundred in this format. At the other end of the scale Markram looked as though he had a maiden century for the taking (66 off 60 balls, 4 fours and 2 sixes) before he ran himself out attempting a second run. By a quirk of fate he was also deprived of a Test century on debut by a run out.

Du Plessis has been ruled out of the KFC T20 International series next week with JP Duminy taking over the captaincy and Dwaine Pretorius coming in as a replacement player. AB de Villiers took up the captaincy for the balance of today’s match.

Bangladesh again paid the price for not being able to take wickets up front and not being able to get a good start themselves. The absence of Hashim Amla made little difference as Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma shared an opening stand of 119 that set up the Proteas for their best total against Bangladesh of 369/6 and they only lost 12 wickets in the entire series.

When Bangladesh batted they lost their first three wickets inside 6 overs to Kagiso Rabada and Dane Paterson and that was virtually the end of the contest. Paterson went on to finish with career best figures of 3/44 while the two new caps, Markram and Wiaan Mulder, took 3 wickets between them.

De Kock, Amla and De Villiers made almost 600 runs between them in the series with De Kock being named Momentum Man of the Series and Du Plessis Man of today’s match.

The presence of Bavuma, Markram (who took an outstanding slip catch) and Mulder certainly added youthful energy to the Proteas fielding effort.

The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) Responds to the International Cricket Council (ICC) Announcement of New International Competition Structures

Overall Cricket Structure

FICA acknowledges the amount of work that has been done, and that a step forward has been taken, by the ICC and various country Boards in formulating and agreeing a Test league and ODI league. FICA remains concerned however that, as part of the changes, the new overall cricket structure does not address existing weaknesses and imbalances in the global playing landscape, and the need to ensure an appropriate balance between international cricket and the domestic T20 leagues.

“Whilst some of what ICC has now agreed is positive, notably in regard to the ODI league, we feel that the game has missed a significant opportunity to provide real clarity and consistency to the overall global structure,” said Tony Irish, Executive Chairman of FICA.

“One of international cricket’s biggest challenges is the increasing prioritisation by players of T20 leagues ahead of international cricket and this can only be addressed by appropriate structural change. FICA’s 2016 International Cricket Structure Review (FICA International Cricket Structural Review ), which was shared with the ICC, is based on collective player views, player labour market data and player insights from around the world. It identified key areas which we, and the players, believe needed to be addressed as part of a much needed change in the global structure aimed at ensuring the health and viability of international cricket.”

“The introduction of Test and ODI leagues to create context and sporting narrative was one these but others include, for example, the removal of the inherent conflict for players between international cricket and domestic T20 leagues, balancing all three formats of the game, removing scheduling conflicts by adopting clear internationally recognised scheduling windows, adopting a centralised approach to potential innovations such as day/night and four day Tests and developing a clear pathway and meritocratic opportunity for developing nations. These really should have been addressed in one new structure.”

ODI League

FICA welcomes the introduction of the proposed ODI league and in particular the fact that the number of matches is clearly regulated to ensure the volume of cricket is controlled and that matches without context are not played outside the league structure.

“Although it’s not ideal that teams won’t play all other teams during the cycle the league is otherwise clear in its structure and regulation and it also provides meaningful opportunities to 13 teams,” said Irish. “We will still need to see how effective it is in feeding into the ICC Cricket World Cup.”

Test League

Whilst FICA acknowledges some context has now been introduced into Test cricket it is clear that optimal change has been restricted by the fact that context is being wrapped around existing bilateral scheduling arrangements instead of the other way around. FICA believes that regulation in the Test structure to ensure clarity and consistency doesn’t go far enough.

“The fact that countries will play different numbers of Test matches in a series depending on the opposition will mean that any points system will not be simple and easily understandable,” said Irish. “We will have to see exactly how the points will work but I think it’s a challenge to run a genuine league when some countries will be playing significantly more matches than other countries in the same league table.”

“It is also left up to countries to play Test matches outside the competition structure which is likely to be confusing, and simply adds volume without context. Perhaps some of these non-league matches will be against new Test nations but then it’s a pity that there is no clear pathway for those countries to advance or enter the competition based on merit.”

Four Day Tests

FICA notes that four day Test matches will not be part of the Test league.

“We are not sure of the objective of playing four day Tests right now,” said Irish. “The format doesn’t need trialing as it’s played in most domestic first class competitions. We see the benefit that four day Tests could bring to an overall competition structure but the benefit of change is not clear if it’s not part of a structure. In these circumstances we don’t see the need to tinker with what many treasure as part of the heritage and tradition of the game.”

Conclusion

“Although FICA was involved in conceptual discussions on these leagues neither we, nor the players, have been part of the final development of the competition structures. I think we should have been, especially because the player labour market and player decision-making are significant drivers of what the future of the game will look like.”

“It seems that the agreed structure will be locked-in for some time. We will now have to see whether the changes have gone far enough to sufficiently enhance international cricket.”

South Africa pace bowler Kagiso Rabada has gained two slots to reach a career-best third position among bowlers in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings after his player of the match performance against Bangladesh in Bloemfontein which helped complete a 2-0 win in the two-Test series.

Rabada grabbed five wickets in each innings for an enviable match haul of 10 for 63 that helped his side to an innings and 254 runs victory. He made a notable improvement in the latest rankings, which also take into account the second Test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Dubai, which Sri Lanka won by 68 runs on Tuesday to clinch the series 2-0.

Rabada, a star of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup when his side won it in 2014, has overtaken spinners Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka and Ravichandran Ashwin of India and is now on 876 points, only eight points behind second-placed India spinner Ravindra Jadeja and 20 behind top-ranked James Anderson of England.

Rabada was not the only South Africa pace bowler to gain in the latest rankings as his new-ball partner Duanne Olivier (up nine places to a career-best 48th position), Wayne Parnell (up 10 places to 60th) and Andile Phehlukwayo (up 27 places to 93rd) have also moved up the rankings.

Captain Faf du Plessis and Aiden Markram, century-makers at Bloemfontein, are among the batsmen to gain. Du Plessis’s 135 not out has seen him move up two places to 14th position while Markram has gained 43 slots to reach a career-best 61st position after his knock of 143.

MRF Tyres ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 11 October, after the South Africa v Bangladesh and Pakistan v Sri Lanka series)

Rank Team Points
1 India 125
2 South Africa 111
3 England 105
4 New Zealand 97
5 Australia 97
6 Sri Lanka 94
7 Pakistan 88
8 West Indies 75
9 Bangladesh 72
10 Zimbabwe 00

The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) responded to the announcement by Cricket South Africa (CSA) that it is postponing the T20 Global League (T20 GL).

SACA today expressed its concern and disappointment at the announcement by CSA of the postponement of the T20 GL, which had been scheduled to start on 3rd November 2017.

The T20 GL involves 144 players who are either contracted or drafted to play for eight privately owned city-based teams operating from eight different stadia across South Africa.

“Confirmation of postponement of the League was communicated to me in a teleconference of CSA’s Board and Members Council earlier today” said Tony Irish, chief executive of SACA. “At this stage we’re unsure of exactly what a postponement means other than the fact that it’s clear the league will not take place this year. We will be seeking clarity from CSA on the further implications.”

“This has a very significant impact on a large number of local and overseas players, all of whom have signed contracts to play in the league. Some players turned down other opportunities in order to commit themselves to these contracts. We will be looking at all implications of this for players, including what compensation should be paid to them.”

“SACA is well aware of the fact that this will also affect various other groups including franchises, coaches and stadium owners. I think it will be necessary for CSA to appoint its own independent review into what has actually transpired here as there are significant implications across South African cricket.”

Standard Bank Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, says the 2-0 Sunfoil Test series win against Bangladesh is a timely confidence boost ahead of a tough summer featuring inbound tours against India and Australia. The Proteas were convincing in both matches – winning by an innings- particularly the contributions from the batsmen, who dominated in docile conditions.

Du Plessis admits that the squad is far from the finished product, with injuries to some of their key fast bowlers and the continuous search for a winning combination in the batting line-up among the setbacks. The win is the first hurdle ahead of seven confirmed Test matches, which will be the litmus test for the squad as they challenge for the No.1 spot on the ICC Test rankings.

“First of all confidence,” he said of the positives from the series in Bloemfontein on Sunday. “ We had good targets leading into this series of what we wanted to achieve as a team; not just as a batting unit, and we achieved those goals hands down. The confidence from this series ahead of two big series at the end of the year, we appreciate that.

“From this series there is nothing that we could have done better,” he said. “ Everyone scored runs, there were big hundreds and many hundreds, there were also some important partnerships. We are not the finished article, we understand that we are a team that needs to get better. If we get better, we will challenge for the No.1 position again.”

Du Plessis says he ‘expected a bigger fight’ from the No.9 ranked Bangladesh team, who came into the series following a drawn (1-1) series against Australia at home. While the victory will be celebrated, the captain will look ahead to having a full-strength team to pick from for the battles that lie ahead later this season.

“I expected a bigger fight,” he admitted. “ I didn’t expect them to win the series, but I expected us to go through some sessions where we would need to absorb a lot of pressure because of the skill in their team. With that, you have to say that our team did it better. When they tried to put some sort of pressure on us we responded positively and aggressively like we spoke about in the team meeting. Five or six overs after that we were back and dominating the game.

“India and Australia are going to be a lot tougher,” he said. “Bangladesh didn’t have the fire-power that we thought they would have in these conditions. We don’t get too far ahead of ourselves thinking that we are the finished article. We still have a lot of work to do to try and be the team that we want to be.”

The focus shifts to the three-match Momentum One-Day International (ODI) series starting at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on Sunday. The ODI squad will assemble in Kimberley on Thursday and details of the training and media schedule will be announced shortly.

 

Kagiso Rabada  took on the responsibility of leading the attack in the absence of Morne Morkel in spectacular style as the Standard Bank Proteas thrashed Bangladesh by 333 runs with time and overs to spare on the final day of the first Sunfoil Test match at Senwes Park in Potchofstroom on Monday.

Rabada needed just 19 balls to blow away what was left of the Bangladesh top order with three wickets, including that of captain Mushfiqur Rahim to the third ball he send down.

For good measure Rabada also produced a bullet throw from the deep for a run out before Keshav Maharaj wrapped up what was left of the innings to finish with 7 wickets in the match. This gave him 50 wickets in only 12 Test matches to put him on the list of South Africa’s top performers to this landmark.

The Bangladesh innings lasted only 83 minutes as 7 wickets fell for 41 runs.

Only three of their batsmen reached double figures in this innings in a total of 90 all out. Maharaj finished with 4/25 and Rabada with 3/33.

Dean Elgar was named Sunfoil Man of the Match.

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