The South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and the South African Professional Cricketers Trust (“the Players Trust”) today gave Cricket South Africa (CSA) formal notice of a dispute relating to breach of agreement in connection with the 2018 Mzansi Super League (MSL).  This dispute is in addition to the existing High Court application instituted by SACA against CSA in May 2019 which relates to the restructuring of domestic cricket.

Formal Dispute Relating to MSL 2018

In November 2018 SACA, the Players Trust and CSA signed a commercial agreement relating to MSL 2018 in terms of which the players, through the Players Trust, granted commercial rights for use by the league and the teams in the MSL and in return CSA was obliged to pay over amounts to the Players Trust so that the players could be paid for the use of their rights.

“Unfortunately CSA has persistently refused to pay an agreed amount relating to the use of the players’ commercial rights and consequently the players have yet to be paid for these,” said SACA Chief Executive, Tony Irish.  “This has occurred despite CSA having benefited from the use of the rights in last year’s MSL.”

“We have been trying to resolve this with CSA for many months but have now reached the point where formal steps have to be taken as players remain out of pocket.”

High Court Application Relating to Domestic Restructure

Despite delays, SACA’s court application relating to CSA’s decision to restructure domestic cricket continues in the South Gauteng High Court. 

“In normal circumstances, one would have expected the court application to be heard in or around October this year”, said Irish.  “However failures on the part of CSA to comply with the time periods provided for in the rules of court have led to unnecessary delays.  CSA also failed to respond for a long period to attempts to establish a process aimed at resolving the issues around the domestic restructure.  All of this has obviously been very frustrating for SACA and it creates uncertainty for the players.”

“SACA remains committed to the court application as this is necessary to deal with CSA’s decision to unilaterally impose a new domestic structure on the players without consultation and in clear breach of signed agreements between SACA and CSA.  This imposed structure, if allowed, would lead to a very significant number of provincial players losing their careers as professional cricketers and it would also give rise to the likelihood of substantial cuts in the earnings and benefits of franchises players.  In addition, we believe that it will weaken the standard of our top-flight domestic cricket across playing formats, at a time when we can ill afford to do this.”

SACA’s previously expressed concerns around CSA’s medium and long term financial situation also remain. 

“None of our concerns on this front have been dealt with,” said Irish.  “Instead we are now excluded from attending CSA’s finance and commercial committee meetings.”

“I wish to emphasise that despite all of this SACA remains willing to sit down with CSA in a genuine and good faith attempt to resolve these issues.  We wish to play a responsible role in dealing with the financial picture and we know that many of the issues require mutually agreed solutions.  This has to happen however in the context of good faith engagement between us, as the representative of the players, and CSA.”

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