SACA Media Release - 05/02/2004
Both the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and Cricket SA (Pty) Ltd have acknowledged the need for an urgent Moratorium on the contracting of players in order to enable all parties to deal with important transition arrangements in the movement towards the new Franchise structure and to limit any contract disputes.
SACA met on Tuesday (3rd February 2004) at Supersport Park, Centurion, with representatives of Cricket SA and the Provincial Boards to commence discussions over player issues related to the restructuring of South African professional cricket. The meeting was attended by a group of senior players representative of South Africa’s professional cricketers.
The broad player issues that were discussed were firstly, the need for immediate transitional arrangements to enable player movement into the new structure, secondly, fair treatment of players who will no longer have jobs as a result of the restructure and, thirdly, the meaningful involvement of SACA and the players in determining the details of the new structure as it relates to cricketers. SACA sees an important aspect of the transition arrangements to be the agreement of a workable mechanism which ensures that all existing players are given a fair opportunity of possible inclusion in the new system.
The UCBSA’s position on transformation requirements in relation to the number of players of colour in the new structure (40% of contracted players and 4 players on the field) was communicated by Cricket SA and was the subject of lengthy discussion. Players raised the importance of consultation with them on important issues such as this especially in the light of the strength vs strength requirement.
SACA sees the contract moratorium as being necessary only for the period required to ensure conclusion of a transition agreement and believes the parties should finalise this by mid-February, if possible. SACA believes this transition agreement will also address the current uncertainty of many players surrounding their futures.
Tony Irish - CEO
“In general the meeting was a good one,” said Tony Irish, the CEO of SACA. “We have to find both fair and ‘good-cricket’ solutions to a number of difficult issues. It is a priority for us to put in place, as soon as possible, an acceptable transitional agreement which sets out the path forward for players and also does not give rise to contract disputes. The moratorium is critical. The acknowledgement by everyone at the meeting that the entire process going forward should include SACA and the players, and that it should be as transparent as possible, is very positive.”