McClenaghan writes off South Africa T20
Bowler Mitchell McClenaghan has given himself a two-out-of10 chance of getting compensation from the postponed first season of the South African T20 Global League.
The tournament with the big name has so far delivered a zero return for 144 players signed with the promise of employment for six weeks’ cricket in the republic.
Delays in securing stable broadcast and sponsorship deals were listed as key reasons for the failure.
“I’ll probably write it off and reset,” McClenaghan told Radio Sport. “If nothing else eventuates, I’ll spend more time at home, go back to Auckland and potentially play fourday cricket.
“I’m swinging the ball in the nets, so if [New Zealand coach] Mike Hesson is listening, I could be a test option.”
Irony drips off that last statement.
McClenaghan requested to terminate his New Zealand Cricket contract in August so he could work as a Twenty20 freelancer.
The 31-year-old left-armer chose contract work in overseas leagues over earning a regular salary. That was affirmed when he signed with the Durban Qalanders.
Standard T20 contracts — outside the Indian Premier League — are worth an estimated US$30,000-US$50,000 ($42,400-$70,700) in most franchise competitions.
In addition to his IPL deal with Mumbai Indians this year, McClenaghan played for the St Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League and has a contract with the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League.
McClenaghan could still compete in the Bangladesh Premier League during the Global League time frame, but the queue will be long and money scarce.
Curiously, he will be in India interviewing players for his Behind The Seams website while New Zealand tour there.
Hesson confirmed that no place would be extended to McClenaghan for the assignment. The Black Caps fly out to India tonight.
“To put it simply, I think I’m unemployed at the minute. It’s a bit of a train wreck, but it’s a case of keep your head up and move on,” McClenaghan said. “I found out a couple of hours before the announcement when Grant Elliott — who was set to help coach our side — said ‘it doesn’t look good and will probably get binned’.
“It’s disappointing it’s ended this way after getting so many people into the competition and hyping it up so much.”
The tournament was due to feature McClenaghan and fellow New Zealander Brendon McCullum, who had signed for the Jo’burg Giants. Former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming was set to coach the Stellenbosch Kings.
“There were good teams in behind it and the signs of financial security were positive from a playing point of view,” McClenaghan said. “That’s why I chose South Africa rather than Bangladesh . . . but that has blown up in my face.
“We’re leaving it in the hands of the NZCPA [ New Zealand Cricket Players Association], FICA [Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations] and SACA [South African Cricketers’ Association] to move forward and get some compensation.”
SACA boss Tony Irish said discussions lie ahead.
“There’s a legal position which we will be on top of, and we’re confident some compensation will be paid, but it will be substantial amounts [we’re seeking], so it’s probably not going to happen overnight.
“We’re still not sure what this postponement means: Will contracts be carried over? Will there be an event next year? What will be the scale?”
The SACA has called for an “independent review” because of the impact on players who turned down other opportunities. The South African contingent are worst affected. Six weeks of their summer was set aside for the event with neither the national team nor domestic franchises in action.