The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) today responded to statements made at yesterday’s Cricket South Africa (CSA) media conference.

“We remain concerned by the financial position in cricket and in particular by the very substantial four-year deficit which CSA is forecasting,” said SACA President, Omphile Ramela. “We want to understand exactly how that is being dealt with and be comfortable with what the deficit, including the MSL, actually is. We will then know the extent of the financial challenge and can be part of the solution to that challenge. We have addressed our specific, constructive concerns to CSA in writing but have still had no reply. The statements made yesterday have given us no further clarity on this. It’s our duty as the representative of all the players to make decisions from a fully informed position.”

“Regarding CSA’s announcement of a domestic restructure to 12 teams CSA stated yesterday that SACA has agreed to this restructure. This is not correct, and SACA has yet to agree to any restructure. Any agreement by us would need to be a decision of the full players’ executive of SACA and we will only take that decision when we know exactly how this will affect the players, including in regard to contract numbers. Going to 12 teams may well have some pluses and may give some players more opportunity to play at a higher level, but there is also no doubt that many other players will lose their jobs as professional cricketers. It is also very likely that if this is part of a cost-saving exercise players are going to end up earning less. If CSA says that is not the case then we want to understand how that is actually going to be possible.”

SACA Chief Executive, Tony Irish, stated “I wish to again confirm that CSA has not properly consulted with SACA on the domestic restructure. The fact that I was present at certain meetings when the issue of possible restructure was raised does not constitute consultation. There has been no discussion with us on how any restructure would actually work and I have consistently stated to CSA that SACA cannot make any decision on this at least until we understand the financial position and the ‘human impact’ on the players.”

“If there is any doubt as to whether or not consultation has taken place then one only needs to look at a recent agreement signed by CSA and SACA dealing directly with this. As part of the MOU both CSA and SACA signed what is known as a Recognition Agreement which sets out how identified, important matters will be dealt with by the parties. This agreement contains a clear consultation process to be followed before CSA can make any decision specifically on the domestic restructure of the game. CSA has simply ignored that agreement.”

“CSA stated yesterday that it will continue to engage SACA going forward” continued Ramela, “yet SACA’s Ceo was at the same time banned from a meeting of CSA’s CEC, of which he is a member, when the domestic restructure was being discussed.”

“SACA wants South African cricket to be financially sustainable into the future and we want to see the best domestic structure possible given the financial situation. That should also be a structure that is good for our players. We call on CSA to address our concerns, to consult properly with us, to respect the agreements they have signed with us and to respect SACA and its leadership” concluded Ramela.

The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) today responded to Cricket South Africa’s (CSA’s) announcement over the weekend on austerity plans and the restructuring of domestic cricket into 12 teams.

“SACA has formally written to CSA twice in the last six weeks to express its concerns relating to CSA’s financial position,” said SACA’s President, Omphile Ramela. “To date, we haven’t received any reply at all to those letters. It is critical for us as the players association and the representative of all of South Africa’s professional cricketers to know the extent of the financial challenge facing cricket and to be comfortable on how that challenge is being dealt with. The players’ livelihoods depend on cricket’s financial sustainability but this is not only about the players. It is also about the future of the entire game in our country.”

SACA’s chief executive, Tony Irish, said: “A four-year deficit amounting to hundreds of millions of rands is unprecedented in South African cricket and is a serious concern to us as the representative of the players. The future of the game is in the balance and as a critical stakeholder, we believe the players have a right to know what the financial position actually is, how it is being dealt with and how this is going to affect not only them but also all other cricket stakeholders. We have asked CSA for clarity and to date, it has not provided this. SACA wishes to act responsibly and play its part in dealing with the challenge but in order to do that CSA must play open cards with us and properly engage with us.”

“CSA has instead gone ahead with the announcement of a restructuring of domestic cricket, to effectively merge the franchise and provincial systems, as part of its austerity plan, without any meaningful consultation with SACA and despite the fact that this will directly affect the players. This restructure, announced as part of cost-saving measures, is likely to lead to at least 70 players losing their contracts and many other players at franchise level having their earnings reduced. The ‘human impact’ of this is significant. SACA has a collective agreement in place with CSA, franchises and provinces, known as the MOU, which deals with these issues yet CSA has, in announcing this structure, disregarded that agreement.”

“There are also many important cricket implications in making any change of this nature. These include things like competition structures across the cricket formats, maintaining a competitive balance between teams and ensuring that any new structure promotes the retention of our players for Proteas selection. These have not been properly discussed with us either.”

“As a first step to resolve this situation we urge CSA to respond to us on the concerns which we have raised in writing with it” concluded Irish.

Outstanding bowling by Prenelan Subrayen and Daryn Dupavillon helped the Hollywoodbets Dolphins make a positive start to the CSA T20 Challenge campaign with a comfortable four-wicket victory over the VKB Knights in Durban on Saturday night.

The pair shared five wickets between them and conceded only 30 runs in eight overs as the hosts restricted the visitors to 133 for eight at Kingsmead.

Marques Ackerman then batted with a level head on his way to 44 not out from 36 balls to help his side reach their target with nine deliveries to spare.

It completed a comfortable win for the KwaZulu-Natal side and helped them bounce back well following their Momentum One-Day Cup final disappointment last weekend – they were crushed by the Multiply Titans in that match.

In their 20-over season opener, the Dolphins won the toss and opted to bowl first with Aubrey Swanepoel (31) and Patrick Kruger (13) giving them plenty to think about during an opening stand of 46 in 4.4 overs, including one that went for 25 by Lwandiswa Zuma (1/35).

But from there, it went south on the east coast for the Knights as Subrayen and Dupavillon demolished them.

The former ran through the middle order on his way to three for 15 in four overs, before the latter strangled the lower order with his one for 15 in the same ration of overs.

The Central plummeted from 46 for none to 81 for six and needed a 45-run seventh-wicket partnership between Grant Mokoena (25) and Shadley van Schalkwyk (21) to get them to a decent total.

They then needed early wickets to have any chance, but that failed to happen as Sarel Erwee (28) and Morne van Wyk (17) gave the Dolphins a solid enough start of 39 for the first wicket.

Even though Van Schalkwyk (2/23) did his best to try and jolt their progress – they fell to 68 for four at one point – Ackerman and Sibonelo Makhanya (17) settled nerves with a partnership of 43 that was enough to get them close.

Eathan Bosch (12 off three balls) then finished the job as the home side started their campaign on the right foot.

Dane Paterson  bowled one of the great death overs of his career to earn the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras a thrilling five-run victory over the bizhub Highveld Lions to complete an outstanding opening weekend of the CSA T20 Challenge at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

The Lions entered the final over, needing just 8 runs for victory with five wickets in hand although neither of their batsmen at the crease, Wiaan Mulder and Dwaine Pretorius, had faced a ball at that stage.

Paterson conceded only two runs off his final six balls and took three wickets, one of them as the result of a direct hit run out to remove Mulder. If one also takes in account the fact that he hit the final ball of the Cobras innings for a six, then his contribution was immense.

Other key contributions for the Cobras came from the partnership of 58 of just 34 balls between Vernon Philander and Aviwe Mgjima.

Remarkably both sides had 104 runs on the board with six overs left in their innings and in the end, this partnership plus Paterson’s final ball six proved just sufficient.

The Lions reply was set up by an entertaining innings of 69 off 43 balls with three fours and four sixes by Ryan Rickelton who confirmed the favourable impression he made in the Mzansi Super League earlier in the season.

It also served to highlight one of the important by-products of this competition to provide opportunities for fringe franchise players. The 22-year-old Rickelton was one such example as was the 23-year-old Marques Ackerman in the Hollywoodbets Dolphins victory over the VKB Knights on Saturday evening.

Paterson was named bowler of the match and the batting award went to Philander.

The competition continues on Tuesday when the Knights take on the Warriors at Kimberley’s Diamond Oval.

Multiply Titans batsman Aiden Markram’s blistering 127 off just 88 balls proved to be the gamechanger as the Multiply Titans defeated HollywoodBets Dolphins by 135 runs to clinch the Momentum One-day Cup final.

The star-studded Titans were put in to bat and got a good start with a 51-run opening stand, and a 56-run stand for the second wicket. Theunis de Bruyn set the innings up with a steady 72 before he departed in the 29th over. With the Titans looking for a strong finish, skipper Dean Elgar joined Markram and played a good supporting role to Markram’s blitz.

Markram, who already had scores of 169, 139 and 85 in the tournament, proceeded to launch a stunning assault that saw him hit eight sixes and five fours. At the other end, Elgar kept the scoring busy with a 42-ball 58 and helped stitch together a stand worth 142. Farhaan Behardien, who followed, kept the momentum up with a quick cameo as the Titans racked up a massive 356.

In the chase, the Dolphins were pegged back by two strikes from Dale Steyn within the first ten overs. They slipped further in the 14th over as Tabraiz Shamsi struck twice to put the Dolphins under pressure.

Dane Vilas (59) and Andile Phehlukwayo (43) offered some resistance before Steyn came back to pick the latter and effectively end the chase. Dolphins, who were the joint-winners in the previous season, were rolled out for just 221 as they handed the title over to the Titans.

The Hollywoodbets Dolphins will meet the Multiply Titans in the Momentum One-Day Cup final on Sunday after a brilliant four-wicket haul by Keshav Maharaj helped them comfortably overcome the Warriors by seven-wickets in their semi-final in Durban on Thursday.

The Standard Bank Proteas spinner claimed four for 36 in 10 excellent overs at Kingsmead that contributed to the visitors being dismissed for a paltry 119 – their lowest-ever total in the history of the fixture.

Vaughn van Jaarsveld’s run-a-ball 53, which included nine fours, then eased the home side to victory with 185 balls to spare.

It means the top two regular-season sides will contest the right for the 2018/19 title.

After the Titans had swept aside the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras 24 hours earlier, the Dolphins did the same against the Warriors. They won the toss and bowled first, with the returning Daryn Dupavillon, playing his first game for the franchise this season, massively impressing with the new ball.

The fast bowler constantly touched speeds of 145 to 140 kilometres per hour on his way to one for 15 in seven overs.

Along with Eathan Bosch (2/31), the pair reduced the away side to 28 for three.

It was then over to the spinners as Maharaj and Senuran Muthusamy (2/5) cut through the middle and lower order to shoot out the Warriors in just 34.3 overs.

Lesiba Ngoepe (34) and Marco Marais (29) did best for the Warriors – the pair putting on 46 for the sixth wicket.

For the Eastern Cape franchise to have a chance they needed to strike early, but that did not happen as Van Jaarsveld and Sarel Erwee (35) put on 69 for the opening wicket.

That was enough to set the Dolphins on the way as they cruised on from there, despite losing the pair and Muthusamy (11), to win with more than 30 overs to spare.

The Multiply Titans put on a clinical performance at Supersport Park to book their place in the Momentum One-Day Cup final. Titans first delivered with the ball, bowling the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras out for 187 before surviving a scare to chase it down with almost 11 overs to spare.

Dale Steyn was the one who caused damage very early in the innings when he removed Janneman Malan and Zubayr Hamza off successive deliveries in the opening over. Skipper JP Duminy then arrested the slide with a vital 40-run stand before Titans struck twice again in succession. This time, it was Junior Dala who got into the wickets column getting rid of both Duminy and opener Pieter Malan.

With Tabraiz Shamsi also castling Aviwe Mgijima for a duck, Cobras were stuttering at 52/5 by the end of the 18th over. Kyle Verreynne and Vernon Philander then rescued the side with a crucial 75-run stand to ensure Cobras’ innings was back on track. Verreynne went onto score a half-century but with wickets falling regularly at the other end, Titans continued to have a firm grip on the contest. Dala was the wrecker-in-chief running through the lower order to finish with an incredible six-wicket haul, conceding only 19 runs.

Cobras didn’t back down without a fight in the chase despite putting only 187 on the board. Philander and Rory Kleinveldt kept striking in tandem with the new ball to reduce Titans to 65/5. With 123 more runs needed for the win, it appeared as if Titans were just one wicket away from losing the contest. Instead, Behardien joined forces with Corbin Bosch to ensure his side didn’t collapse.

With the rest of the bowlers not threatening as much as Philander and Kleinveldt did, Behardien and Bosch batted with caution to bail their side out of trouble. Eventually, the duo was involved in a century stand and carried the team over the finish line. While Bosch remained unbeaten on 45, Behardien finished not out on 75.

Dwaine Pretorius made a maiden half-century and was involved in two important partnerships with Reeza Hendricks and JP Duminy to put the Standard Bank Proteas on their way to victory by 45 runs on the DLS method and a series clean sweep in the final KFC T20 International match at the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium on Sunday.

Pretorius, who had not batted in any of his three previous T20 International matches, grabbed his chance when he finally got the opportunity in the pivotal No. 3 position. He shared all-important partnerships of 90 for the second wicket with Hendricks (a career-best 66 off 52 balls, 8 fours and 2 sixes) and then an unbroken 71 for the third wicket with Duminy (34 not out off 14 balls, 2 fours and 3 sixes) in just five overs.

Pretorius finished unbeaten on 77 (42 balls, 4 fours and 3 sixes) and for good measure took a wicket with his first ball when he came on to bowl.

The Sri Lankan reply got off to a decent start this time largely thanks to NIroshan Dikwella (38 off 22 balls, 7 fours) but then fell into their bad habits of old as they lost six wickets for 54 runs. They were nevertheless ahead on the comparative run rate as they had been throughout their innings although the number of wickets lost meant they were behind on the DLS method when rain interrupted play after 11.1 overs of their reply.

It left them with a revised target of 183 in 17 overs which effectively meant they had to score 72 off the remaining 35 balls.

However, they did have a trump card up their sleeves in the big-hitting Isuru Udana who had already scored 25 runs off just 12 balls, including three huge sixes, before the weather interruption. However, it meant he would have to do it all himself with only tail-enders left to bat around him.

They managed only 7 off the remaining 5 balls of Tabraiz Shamsi’s 12th over, reducing the target to 65 off 30 balls.

A couple of tight overs followed from Chris Morris and Shamsi, pushing the required rate up to 18 runs per over for the last three.

Andile Phehlukwayo started the next over with a no-ball and a wide, then conceded a six before making the vital strike by having Udana caught on the boundary (36 off 23 balls, 4 sixes).

It left Sri Lanka needing 46 off 15 balls with no power hitters left at their disposal.

Phehlukwayo dismissed Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga in the same over to give him career-best figures of 4/24 as the Proteas closed in for the kill.

The end was in sight as Lutho Sipamla cleaned up the tail with a double strike

A third career century by Sarel Erwee helped the Hollywoodbets Dolphins take a giant step towards the Momentum One-Day Cup playoffs after they secured a thumping nine-wicket bonus-point win over the Warriors in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

The opener ended unbeaten on 105 off 103 balls (12 four, 3 sixes) as the visitors chased down a modest 224-victory target with nearly 15 overs to spare.

There were also several vital performances with the ball for the KwaZulu-Natal side – led by Okuhle Cele’s career-best three for 52 in 10 overs at St George’s Park.

It was just one of many good away showings after the home side had won the toss and opted to bat first.

Keshav Maharaj was miserly after finishing with one for 28 in his full quota of overs, with fellow spinners Prenelan Subrayen and Senuran Muthusamy collecting two for 44 (nine overs) and one for 46 (10 overs) respectively.

Eathan Bosch was also tidy with none for 42 as the Warriors lost regular wickets all the way through. There were no half-century partnerships for them, with Jon-Jon Smuts finishing as the top scorer with 76 (99 balls, 6 fours). Onke Nyaku got to 34 and Gihahn Cloete added 27, the Eastern Cape franchise limping to 223 for nine.

Erwee and Vaughn van Jaarsveld, who made 83 off 77 balls, (11 fours) got their side off to a flier as they put on 147 for the first wicket in just 23.5 overs.

Marques Ackerman (34 not out) then stepped in to help Erwee complete the job via an 82-run second-wicket stand as the Dolphins won with 85 balls to spare.

They are now up to second on the log ahead of the Warriors and are strongly placed with just one round to play.

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