The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) today responded to statements made by Cricket South Africa (CSA) in a CSA media release late yesterday regarding the players MOU.

 

The MOU is a comprehensive collective agreement concluded on a four year basis between CSA, SACA and cricket Franchises which regulates critical matters relating to professional cricketers, including the contracts of national and franchise players. The current MOU will expire on 30 April 2018 and a new MOU would ordinarily commence on 1st May 2018 and run for a four year period from that date. Certain key elements of the MOU (which include the financial model underpinning player contracts and benefits) need to be agreed between CSA and SACA prior to player contracts being finalised.

 

“We are both surprised and disappointed that CSA has seen fit to make a public statement announcing plans relating to the MOU without giving us any proper opportunity to respond to, or to deal with, these first” said Tony Irish, SACA’s chief executive. The suggested plans have caused consternation amongst players and they require a response from SACA. The indication of further possible delays and the unworkability of certain aspects of what is being suggested are particular matters of concern to us. The suggestion also that there have actually been negotiations conducted by SACA officials with CSA on the MOU to date is also not correct. Negotiations on the key elements have yet to start”

 

“SACA has been doing everything possible from its side for approximately three months to engage with CSA on the MOU and to deal with the key elements to enable player contracts to be finalised well in advance of 30th April 2018, being the date on which the majority of player contracts end. In past MOU’s the key elements have always been agreed by the end of February at the latest to ensure a proper player contracting process can take place well in advance of expiry dates. Unfortunately our attempts to date have been met with very little response from CSA and much of our correspondence has gone unanswered.”

 

“We have now reached a point where many of our players could be out of contract in less than two weeks. The effect of this runs across the player group from senior players who play for the Proteas to young players seeking to make their way in franchise cricket.”

 

“The delays have created an environment of uncertainty for players, and also for Franchises who wish to secure their players. This comes at a time when South African cricket needs to do whatever it can to retain its players in the face of competing opportunities afforded to players in the emerging T20 leagues market and also in the UK. A key recommendation of CSA’s National Teams Review Report released last year was the implementation of an effective retention strategy.”

 

“CSA further announced in yesterday’s release that it is willing to extend existing player contracts. This has caused confusion because it doesn’t cater for what is actually happening on the ground for many players. Some players have already been told that they will no longer be contracted, some will be moving between national and franchise contracts, some will be moving between franchises and some will be first time franchise players. Extensions of contract are simply unworkable for all of these players”

 

“Although CSA now acknowledges in its media statement that concluding the MOU has become a matter of urgency it goes on to suggest that a new agreement may only be finalised in July. We do not understand why such a long further delay may be necessary. We believe that the new MOU is likely to be substantially similar to the existing one in most respects”

 

“Whilst SACA does not have an issue with clarifying the relationship between it and CSA we urge CSA to prioritise finalising the key elements of the MOU so that there is a greater degree of certainty and security for players going forward. Our players deserve that.”
“Should an interim arrangement be necessary because finalisation of all the key elements can’t now be done by 30th April, then we believe that this needs to be agreed with SACA, before any further media statements are made, to ensure that it is workable and that it aligns with, and feeds into, the MOU once finalised.”

 

Reeza Hendricks’s stellar season saw him earn the sought after Player of the Year Award at the bizhub Highveld Lions Gala Dinner, hosted at Sun City.

The award for Bowler of the Year went to Beuran Hendricks who had been of superb value to his team in all formats, whilst Rassie van der Dussen’s consistent contribution with the bat earned him the silverware for Batsman of the Year. Van der Dussen was also voted by his fellow team members as Players’ Player of the Year. Players who were included in national teams were also honoured.

The event, which earlier in the day saw cricket players, partners and sponsors applying their golfing skills at the home of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, continued as an elegant affair against the backdrop of the 9th hole of the Gary Player Golf Couse. Hosting sponsors, partners and players of Gauteng Cricket Board, North West Cricket and bizhub Highveld Lions, this was a fitting way to end the season with sights set firmly on the future and potential of the franchise.

“We are incredibly proud of the notable performances of players at all levels of the pipeline and by hosting and honouring them on this day, we hope to further encourage those that are on the verge of breaking into the playing XI,” commented Chief Executive Officer, Greg Fredericks.

“Every team goes through seasons that highlight areas that growth is still required and we are opting to take this learning curve as an opportunity to focus on plans that will enable us to achieve the potential that we know lies within the Lions and its shareholders.”

Notably, all major partners of the team and its home grounds were present at the event and joined the franchise in the celebratory activities.

Alten Hulme, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer of Konica Minolta South Africa, said: “Konica Minolta is the longest standing partner of any domestic team in South Africa and after 14 years, we have firmly established ourselves as a partner rather than just a sponsor of a team. We are honoured to be sharing in this event and celebrating those that have excelled.”

Hosts to the event, Sun International, have found great value in the partnership with the bizhub Highveld Lions and Bidvest Wanderers Stadium. “”As a company, Sun International is proud to be associated as lifestyle partner of the bizhub Highveld Lions and the home of South African cricket, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium. Hosting this event is our commitment to supporting this team to reach its full potential,” said Dan Sevel, Marketing Manager: Sport.

The Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA) today announced the establishment of its men’s and women’s Player Advisory Committees.

The committees, comprised predominantly of current senior international players nominated by their home players’ association, complement FICA’s ongoing program of structured engagement with its member players’ associations and players around the world, to ensure it is accurately representing collective player views and interests at the global level.

The committees will each hold a structured annual meeting via tele-conference and will also engage informally on a regular basis throughout the year. They will focus on both cricketing and employment related issues that affect players globally.

The committees will play a part in ensuring that players have a strong and unified voice on important issues at the top of the game.

The FICA Player Advisory Committees are:

Men’s  

Ross Taylor (New Zealand)         

Jason Holder (West Indies)

William Porterfield (Ireland)       

Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)    

Aaron Finch (Australia) 

JP Duminy (South Africa)             

Kyle Coetzer (Scotland)

Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)    

Vikram Solanki (FICA President – England)           

Graeme Smith (FICA Independent Board Member – South Africa)            

Tom Moffat (FICA Chief Operating Officer)         

 

Women’s

Heather Knight (England)

Hayley Matthews (West Indies)

Alyssa Healy (Australia)

Dane Van Niekerk (South Africa)

Amy Satterthwaite (New Zealand)

Mary Waldron (Ireland)

Lisa Sthalekar (FICA Independent Board Member – Australia)

Tom Moffat (FICA Chief Operating Officer)

Commenting on the formation of the Player Advisory Committees:

Ross Taylor said:
“It’s important that player views are heard and contribute to the future of the game. Through FICA and our players’ associations, we want to continue to lead some thinking on important areas in the game and the formation of these committees is a great step for players collectively around the world.”

Dane Van Niekerk said:
“The committees are a great initiative and part of making sure that the players’ views contribute to decisions in the game.”

Lisa Sthalekar said:
“The women’s game is going from strength to strength and the players are a big part of that. It is essential the players collectively have a strong voice and are fairly and professionally represented as the game develops. I am looking forward to working with the committee as FICA continues to evolve its important role.”

Jason Holder said:
“This is a big part of ensuring player issues are discussed and genuinely represented globally and I’m looking forward to being involved.”

The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) congratulates Jon Jon Smuts on winning the 2017/18 SACA MVP (Most Valuable Player) for domestic Franchise Cricket.

The SACA MVP formula calculates player on-field performances, in domestic competitions, taking into account batting, bowling, fielding dismissals and captaining abilities and weighting these in each performance according to the context of the match. The formula is similar to that used by other players associations around the world.

Smuts finished the season on 479.387 points in the overall rankings, 66.974 points ahead of 2017/18 Hollywoodbets all-rounder, Senuran Muthusamy.

Despite spending time away from the domestic competitions following his Proteas call-up for the T20 Series against India, Smuts managed to hold onto his lead at the top of the overall rankings after a stellar season in all three formats.

In addition to winning the SACA MVP, the Warriors captain picked up the top ranking spot in the Momentum One-Day Cup rankings with 154.310 points. He finished third in the Sunfoil Series rankings with 207.482 points and second in the Ram Slam T20 rankings with 117.596 points.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras captain JP Duminy dominated the Ram Slam T20 rankings early on in the competition and finished with 122.425 points having scored 356 runs, only five runs behind tournament-leading run scorer Reeza Hendricks. It was Duminy’s record-breaking 37 off one over against the VKB Knights in Cape Town which sealed his position at the top of the Ram Slam T20 rankings.

Sunfoil Series winner, Simon Harmer, also enjoyed a consistent and steady climb up the overall rankings this season. The Warriors off-spinner picked up his 20th career five-wicket haul against the VKB Knights in East London to take the lead and finish with 292.399 points in the Sunfoil Series rankings. As the only bowler with four five-wicket hauls and a ten-for in the domestic season, Harmer was a clear winner.

“It’s a great feeling to win the SACA MVP,” said Smuts. “The changes in rankings are followed by franchise players after each round of matches and it’s a good indicator of form and on-field performance as it takes into account key aspects of a match and all disciplines of the game.”

“Congratulations to Jon Jon for winning the SACA MVP this year, and also for finishing first in the Momentum One-Day Cup rankings for the second year in a row”, said Tony Irish, SACA’s chief executive. “To win overall a player has to perform for his franchise in just about every round of matches and in all three of CSA’s domestic competitions through the season.”

“I’d also like to congratulate JP Duminy and Simon Harmer on leading the way in the Ram Slam T20 and the Sunfoil Series respectively. It has been another year of exciting franchise cricket with records being broken, matches and competitions going down to the wire and some outstanding performances from established players and from young players.”

Morne Morkel came agonisingly close to his first ever 10-wicket haul as he spearheaded the Standard Bank Proteas to their second successive four-day victory over Australia at PPC Newlands on Sunday.

He took 5/23, including two wickets off successive balls, to go with his 4/87 in the first innings to give him a career-best 9/110 in the match. It was the first time he had taken 9 wickets in a Test match. He was named Sunfoil Man of the Match.

He was instrumental in Australia’s second innings collapse that saw them lose all 10 wickets for 50 runs after an opening stand of 57 between David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

The Australians had been set an improbable world record of 430 for victory following second innings half-centuries by Quinton de Kock (65 off 97 balls, 8 fours and a six) and Vernon Philander 952 not out off 79 balls, 6 fours and a six). It meant that the Proteas followed their 199 for the last four wickets in the previous Test in Port Elizabeth with 173 for the last 5 wickets this time out.

The Proteas margin of victory of 322 runs was their second largest in terms of runs margin being beaten only by the 323-runs margin in the last pre-unity series in 1970.

The Australia collapse was started by a direct hit run out by Faf du Plessis which saw the bowlers receive excellent back-up in the field. AB de Villiers and Aiden Markram both took superb catches close to the wicket while Temba Bavuma was also responsible for a run out.

While Morkel deserved the bowling plaudits there was also a fine contribution from Keshav Maharaj who, like Morkel, stood on the brink of a hat trick at one stage.

The Proteas now head to the Bidvest Wanderers Stadium for the final Sunfoil Test of the series with a 2-1 lead and the chance to score their first home series victory over Australia since unity.

Centuries by Stephen Cook and Reeza Hendricks outdid tons by Andrew Puttick and Zubayr Hamza as the bizhub Highveld Lions ended the season on a high by ousting the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras by nine wickets in their final match in Potchefstroom on Sunday.

All four completed their hundreds on the final day, with the two visiting batsmen helping their side, who resumed overnight on 106 for one, to post 364 for three declared.

That left the home side a target of 257 in a little over 40 overs at Senwes Park and they took the game to the Cape side with an entertaining late-match chase that helped take them to a first triumph of the season.

It was first the turn of Puttick and Hamza – the former hitting 116 (241 balls, 11 fours) and the latter 121 (182 balls, 18 fours, 2 sixes) – as they scored their 27th and ninth career centuries respectively. The pair added a record 213 second wicket partnership for the Cobras against the Lions that enabled the visitors to declare on 364 for three.

It meant the Capetonians needed to bowl out their opponents to have a chance of winning the title. But things turned completely against them as they found Cook and Hendricks in no mood to scratch around.

The pair added a franchise record of 226 in 37.1 overs for the opening wicket.

Captain Cook was the main aggressor with 116 (106 balls, 14 fours), while Hendricks top-scored with an unbeaten 119 (124 balls, 18 fours) as the Lions reached their target in exactly 40 overs.

The Multiply Titans were crowned 2017/18 Sunfoil Series champions on Sunday after concluding a tense final round of rain-hit matches with a nervy four-wicket win over the VKB Knights in Centurion.

Chris Morris was their star performer with six for 55 that helped set up a low-scoring chase of 110, which the hosts knocked off with plenty of time to spare.

Mark Boucher’s side went into the final round of games in fourth place and as one of the teams with the slimmest of chances of claiming the four-day crown, but in the end finished the day with their fifth outright first-class title of the franchise era.

The Warriors, who had begun the round first, had to settle for runners-up, and the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras in third.

The final day, which was effectively the second day of the match after the opening two days had been washed out by rain, had started out with the Knights batting on 62 for three and still trailing by 38 in their second innings.

Both sides had faced 40 overs each in their first innings – the away side posting 169 for seven declared and the home side replying with 269 for three declared.

Captain Rudi Second top-scored with 76 (136 balls, 8 fours), with David Miller chipping in with 52 (70 balls, 8 fours), before Morris and Malusi Siboto (3/43) ripped through the middle and lower order to leave the Central franchise all out for 209.

It left a target of just over 100 to get, and despite Marchant de Lange grabbing three for 40, an important 43 from Heino Kuhn and 29 by Farhaan Behardien ensured the Titans got to their target midway through the final afternoon.

They then had to wait for the result of the bizhub Highveld Lions against the Cape Cobras Cobras – the latter needing to win in order to win the title – but as it played out, the Cape side fell to a nine-wicket loss handing the Titans the title.

It also capped another impressive season for Boucher’s side, who secured the double after their success in the RAM SLAM T20 Challenge.

Rain and Rassie van der Dussen played a central role in helping the bizhub Highveld Lions escape from Kimberley with a draw from their Sunfoil Series round eight encounter against the VKB Knights on Sunday.

The weather meant that only 69 overs were possible on the final day at the Diamond Oval with the visitors reaching 194 for four in their second innings.

Right-hander Van der Dussen struck an unbeaten 64 (116 ball, 9 fours, 1 six) to lock up one end, before rain intervened and repeated what it did on day three when just 46.2 overs were sent down.

The Lions had begun the final day with the odds against them, a poor first-innings batting performance and an innings difference of 283.

Reeza Hendricks (16) fell cheaply, but there were then useful 30s from Stephen Cook (36), Omphile Ramela (36) and Dominic Hendricks (33) that helped frustrate the home side.

It was then the rain that arrived after tea further hampering the Knights as the Lions held on.

The result meant the Central Franchise moved on to 112.56 points on the table, with the bottom-of-the-table Gauteng side moving to 76.82 points. Only two rounds remain in the 2017/18 competition.

An outstanding rearguard century by Chris Morris was not enough to deny the Warriors as two late wickets by Jon-Jon Smuts sealed a dramatic 77-run Sunfoil Series win over the Multiply Titans at Buffalo Park in East London late on Sunday.

The Standard Bank Proteas all-rounder made 113 (184 balls, 20 fours), his maiden franchise cricket ton, as the visitors were bowled out for 248 – chasing 329 – deep into the final day.

Morris was bowled from the penultimate delivery of the fourth added over after the mandatory 15 final-hour overs had elapsed, with Tabraiz Shamsi (0) then bowled next ball as Smuts ended with three for 54 to fire his side top of the competition table.

Prior to Morris’ dismissal, the Titans looked set to seal a dramatic draw after battling their way back from 110 for seven shortly before tea.

It was one-way traffic before that in favour of the home side with Tladi Bokako (4/43) and Simon Harmer (3/89) weaving through the top order.

But Malusi Siboto (43) helped Morris add 79 for the eighth wicket and Junior Dala batted for 57 deliveries for his five, before the visitors finally caved.

Earlier, Colin Ackermann went on to record his 14th career century as the Warriors declared on 256 for five.

The right-hander smashed an unbeaten 125 (157 balls, 7 fours, 3 sixes) and put on 169 for the second wicket with Eddie Moore (76 off 179 balls, 4 fours, 1 six) to ensure the hosts gave themselves a victory chance.

Tabraiz Shamsi took an impressive five for 90, but it was not enough as the Titans slipped to a first loss of the season – one that saw them drop from first to fourth with two rounds of 2017/18 remaining.

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