CSA proposes interim agreement to extend contract negotiation with players

The South African team celebrate the 322-run win Getty Images

With seven working days to go before the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) expires on April 30, CSA has proposed an interim agreement while the new MOU is negotiated.

Cricket South Africa hopes to have a final MOU in place by July - three months from the scheduled expiry of existing MOUs - and will extend all existing contracts until then, which will ensure South Africa's professional players, both international and domestic, would not be out of contract and will continue to be paid.

Earlier this week, ESPNcricinfo reported SACA's growing concerns about the delay in reaching common ground with CSA, especially as discussions had barely been entered into over the last few months. While SACA had prepared its position and would essentially ask for the terms of the MOU to remain as they are, they received scant engagement from CSA, whose stance had been unclear.

Last December, CSA indicated they would consider moving away from the revenue-sharing model but in March, recommitted to it. Now, CSA have stated their relationship would SACA would essentially remain the same but would contain several separate agreements between the players and CSA.

"While we will be seeking to clarify our relationship with SACA, I would like to stress that there will be no fundamental change in the underlying relationships between CSA and SACA," CSA CEO Thabnag Moroe said. "It is rather the intention to restructure these relationships that cover the employer-employee relationship, the collective bargaining relationship and the commercial relationship so that all of these relationships are regulated under separate agreements. In the interim, while the new MoU is being negotiated CSA gives an irrevocable undertaking that an interim agreement is being proposed to allay any anxiety on the part of our cricketers concerning their futures."

Cricket South Africa's intention for the new MOU is that it will include all national, franchise, provincial (semi-professional) and women's cricketers and it "will be made binding on them in accordance with Section 23 of the Labour Relations Act. " CSA also want the new agreement to run over a five-year period, one more than current and past MOU's which have been negotiated every four years, in line with the Future Tours Programme. SACA could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

ESPNcricinfo also understands that CSA have been in discussions with other ICC Member Countries to finalise fixtures for the new FTP, which covers the period from 2019 to 2023. CSA have yet to announce South Africa's schedule for the upcoming home summer which is set to see visits from Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.