The Herald (South Africa)

Profession­al and amateur cricket on collision course over T20

- Telford Vice

LIKE trains entering the same tunnel from opposite ends‚ cricket’s amateur and profession­al administra­tors seem to be on a collision course.

That tunnel is the future shape of South Africa’s premier T20 competitio­n.

CSA’s profession­al arm‚ formed of employees tasked with running the game as a business‚ and the organisati­on’s members council‚ its highest authority and comprised of elected officials‚ differ on fundamenta­l aspects of the tournament.

The profession­al arm is headed by acting chief executive Thabang Moroe and chief financial officer Naasei Appiah‚ who have formed a close alliance.

The members council is made up of the presidents of the 12 provincial affiliates and CSA’s president and vice-president.

It can only be a complicati­ng factor that Moroe is also CSA’s vice-president‚ even though he and CSA president Chris Nenzani do not vote on members council matters.

The council met in Durban last weekend to consider a proposal for a T20 tournament prepared by the profession­al arm.

The document calls for eight franchises that would be owned by CSA‚ be subject to transforma­tion rules – five black players in the XI‚ two of them black Africans – and limited to three foreign players per roster and two per team. The tournament would‚ the plan says‚ cost R180-million for three years and then make money.

The Durban deal features significan­t departures from the original blueprint for the event that was meant to catapult CSA into the internatio­nal T20 circus last year – the failure of which has led to much of the above.

The T20 Global League (T20GL)‚ in which the franchises are privately owned‚ not beholden to transforma­tion and strewn with foreign players‚ stalled weeks before its scheduled launch in November.

CSA pulled the plug, saying the venture would lose $25-million (R292-million) in its first year‚ not least because a broadcaste­r and sponsors had not been secured.

Officially the T20GL was postponed for a year. Unofficial­ly, it is an open secret that it will never see the floodlight­s of day-night. According to a CSA release on February 3, a task team has been assembled – it includes Moroe and Appiah – and a workshop organised to “interrogat­e the concept”.

Two senior administra­tors denied the new plan had been rejected‚ saying it would form part of wider discussion.

Another high-ranking official said: “The council wanted other proposals.”

We will find out around March 31 which path CSA choose to follow.

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