The South African Cricketer's Association takes Cricket SA to court

30 May 2019 - 10:40
By Khanyiso Tshwaku
SA Cricketers' Association chief executive Tony Irish is talking tough.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images SA Cricketers' Association chief executive Tony Irish is talking tough.

The South African Cricketer's Association has taken Cricket South Africa (CSA) to court in an attempt to get clarity from the organisation in regards with the direction it's taking with the restructuring of the domestic game.

The application‚ which calls on CSA to show cause as to why its decision to restructure domestic cricket in South Africa should not be reviewed and set aside‚ was filed at the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.

SportsLIVE Podcast | Major Wonder – Mabunda’s Bushiri Complex

The South African Cricketer's Association (Saca) president Omphile Ramela said in a statement that CSA hasn't made an attempt to address their concerns in regards with the organisation's financial situation.

CSA announced a restructuring of the domestic game earlier this year‚ something Saca have said they haven't been fully kept abreast of.

The restructuring will see the current six-team franchise system that's been in place since the 2003/04 season being replaced by the old 11-team provincial union system with South-Western Districts being the new team while Limpopo and Mpumalanga will join at a later stage.

The relationship between CSA and Saca has been rocky for some time‚ with TimesLIVE also reporting that Saca chief executive Tony Irish wasn't part of a chief executive's meeting that he's normally invited to.

CSA's head of cricket pathways Corrie van Zyl had said in a press conference last month they've consulted Saca about the restructuring process.

However‚ judging from this legal step‚ that doesn't seem to be the case.

“SACA’s application to court follows numerous‚ unsuccessful attempts by us to get CSA to address our concerns relating to the financial situation in cricket.

"It also follows clear breaches by CSA of SACA/CSA agreements in taking the decision to restructure domestic cricket‚” Ramela said.

“The restructuring decision will have serious implications for the players and for the game in South Africa.

"The lack of proper engagement with SACA before making this decision has left us with no alternative but to approach the court to challenge that decision.”

Irish hoped that this would get CSA to communicate with them effectively.

“It also calls on CSA to deliver to the court‚ and to SACA‚ documents and records which CSA relied upon in making the decision to restructure domestic cricket‚” he said.

“CSA will now need to decide on whether or not to oppose our court application and if it opposes‚ it will need to file answering papers and SACA will have the right to reply to those.

"We expect that the legal process‚ which culminates in the hearing of our application in court‚ will take about three to four months.”

CSA's media manager Koketso Gaofetoge said the organisation is currently focussed on the national team's showing at the World Cup‚ which starts on Thursday.

“CSA is pulling out all the stops in a deliberate attempt to support the Proteas.

"Any other matters that could distract CSA from its course without merit would be considered incidental‚” Gaofetoge said.