Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
Cricket South Africa and the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) are close to agreeing on a compensation amount for the players who had been contracted to participate in the inaugural T20 Global League.
The tournament was postponed after CSA failed to secure a broadcaster and calculated that conducting the GLT20 without one would lead to a loss of around US$25 million. But with a draft having already taken place and squads announced, players and coaches who were promised plenty will receive payouts. The exact amount may be determined in the next few days.
CSA and SACA have been engaged in mediation after they were unable to come to an agreement earlier this month. At the time, SACA CEO Tony Irish told ESPNcricinfo meditation was an "expected, appropriate and responsible course of action," and was hopeful the situation would be resolved quickly.
It has been almost three weeks since then and there has been no confirmation of a deal being reached. One source told ESPNcricinfo that players are willing to accept 50% of the value of their contracts, which would still amount to a significant expense for CSA.
The total contract fee for all 144 players is understood to be worth over US$10 million. Half that amount equates to almost R70 million. Add that to the costs of the stadium upgrades - over R350 million across three years - the money spent on marketing and the launch of the GLT20 and the yet-to-determined payout former CEO Haroon Lorgat will receive after he parted ways with the board in September and CSA will have to severely deplete its cash reserves of R655,444 million (US$47.8 million), without having anything to show for it.
A saving grace will come this summer with the arrival of India and Australia. While two such high-profile tours will certainly make some money for CSA, it will have to prudent on expenditures. Next season, when the board plans to launch the GLT20 again, there are potentially loss-making visits from Sri Lanka and Pakistan and financial management will be crucial to CSA's sustainability.
The boad has yet to reveal its plans for staging the GLT20 in 2018 but is in ongoing discussions with broadcaster SuperSport about a television rights deal.