CSA try to find positives regarding the new tournament despite unhappiness by some T20GL owners

29 June 2018 - 16:15 By Telford Vice
Ajay Sethi Owner of the Port Elizabeth franchise during the T20 Global League media briefing at the Radisson Blu Hotel on June 28, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Ajay Sethi Owner of the Port Elizabeth franchise during the T20 Global League media briefing at the Radisson Blu Hotel on June 28, 2017 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

T20 Global League (T20GL) franchise owners have been telling Cricket South Africa (CSA) for weeks now how unhappy they are with them.

But‚ according to a press release issued by CSA on Friday‚ it appears that they haven’t noticed.

Charges like “absolutely disgruntled”‚ “disappointing and unprofessional” and “unethical” have been tossed the board’s way by four of the eight owners with threats of legal action.

The franchisees have slammed the board for planning to minimise their involvement in the new T20 tournament to be owned by CSA and SuperSport and is set to be re-launched later this year.

That has angered the T20GL owners‚ but you wouldn’t have thought so from a statement CSA released on Friday.

“CSA has welcomed the interest shown by former franchise holders of the defunct T20GL to be involved in CSA’s new franchise-based T20 competition‚” the statement begins.

It then quotes acting chief executive Thabang Moroe as saying: “The fact that they want to be part of it is an encouraging response‚ and this confirms that they believe‚ as we indeed do‚ that our new T20 is a good product that compares with the best international standards.

“At the same time it is essential that we follow process in the development of our T20 strategy‚ which in the first place required us to resolve the outstanding issues from last year.

“As has been well documented‚ the key to the postponement was the inability to secure key stakeholders and revenue streams. We have now secured a broadcasting equity partner and are currently engaging potential sponsors.

“Once those parties are secured as a collective the business plan will be finalised.

“We will then be in a position to clarify what we can propose and offer to other stakeholders.”

In response‚ Ajay Sethi‚ the owner of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stars‚ said they are willing to meet with CSA. “We welcome their statement but we want to get something in writing from them‚” Sethi told TimesLive.

“We are very happy to meet with them.”

Told that CSA seemed to regard him and the other owners as the debris of a failed experiment — “former franchise holders of the defunct T20GL” has a ring of dismissive finality about it — Sethi sounded a defiant note.

“We are still stakeholders; I still have my rights. I’m not going to negotiate anything different.”

CSA also announced that they a delay of one week in the finalising of their memorandum of understanding with the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA).

The MOU governs the relationship between the board and the players in much the same way as employers and trade unions deal with each other.

Uncertainty over a replacement for the four-year agreement that expired at the end of April‚ and an aggressive stance taken by CSA‚ led to fears of players being out of contract‚ going on strike‚ or ditching cricket to find other sources of income.

“Negotiations have taken place in a positive and constructive spirit‚ but it is important that the drafting process is very thorough as it covers virtually every aspect of professional cricket for both men and women over the next four years‚ involving not just CSA and SACA but the franchises and provinces as well‚” another statement quoted Moroe as saying.

SACA chief executive Tony Irish was quoted as saying: “A lot of progress has been made since CSA and SACA signed an interim agreement at the end of April and we have consensus on virtually all of the key aspects.

“We are now in the drafting process and have set ourselves a revised joint target of July 6 to complete that and sign the agreements.”