After a thorough consultation between Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA), the CSA’s Members’ Council has finally decided to accept the recommendations, put forth by the David Richardson Task Team, to revamp the domestic cricket structure.
The work plan for the process was prepared and initiated in February 2020. The agreement complied with SACA’s requirements and was then submitted to the CSA Interim Board, which after coming in with an agreement with the CSA Member’s Council accepted the proposed structure.
With an aim to sustain and train the domestic teams for professional cricket, the cricket governing body is reconstructing the domestic games in such a way so as to provide them with increased number of opportunities.
“The resolution to accept and approve the Richardson Committee’s recommendation to restructure the domestic competition is the culmination of a process over many years. It heralds a new era for CSA and its affiliates,” the Acting CSA Members’ Council President, Rihan Richards said.
“After considering the wide-ranging review and consultative process undertaken, the Interim Board recommended adoption of the new domestic cricket structure by the Members’ Council,” Interim Board chairperson Judge Zak Yacoob commented.
“This new structure will better serve our transformation goals which include providing increased playing opportunities at the highest domestic level,” he added.
Changes introduced under the new structure
- The six-team franchise cricket system abrogated. A 15-team first-class system will be adopted in its place.
- The teams will be divided into two divisions, Division 1 consisting of 8 teams and Division 2 consisting of 7 teams. They will be subject to automatic promotion and relegation, which will help provide an opportunity for the Division 2 members to be part of the competitions of Division 1.
- The 8-7 teams split will be decided by a “Bid process”. The process involves the evaluation of the performances and history of each Member against a defined Evaluation Criteria and its Strategic Plan.
- The calendar for Division 1 will comprise of four-day, one-day, and the Twenty20 cricket (MSL) in one round.
- The season for Division 2 will comprise of a four-day and one-day competition.
- Division 1 and Division 2 will also compete in a domestic T20 knockout tournament.
- Division 2 will get an opportunity to play in the MSL via a Player Draft. The Draft will also feature some of the national as well as international players.