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Cricket news - SACA drags dispute with CSA to court

SACA's grievances are the result of CSA's decision to do away with the two-tiered system - with six franchises and 13 provisional teams - from the 2020-21 season.

Less than a month since sending a letter to Cricket South Africa threatening to take a legal discourse, the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) has gone ahead with its plan and filed an application with the high court of Johannesburg on the cricket board. The dispute between the two bodies has risen on account of CSA's plans to restructure its domestic cricket system, which SACA wants shelved.

"SACA's application to court follows numerous, unsuccessful attempts by us to get CSA to address our concerns relating to the financial situation in cricket. It also follows clear breaches by CSA of SACA/CSA agreements in taking the decision to restructure domestic cricket," SACA president Omphile Ramela said in an official statement on Wednesday (May 29).

SACA's grievances are the result of CSA's decision to do away with the two-tiered system - with six franchises and 13 provisional teams - from the 2020-21 season, and instead turn it into a 12-team single-tiered structure, with the option of adding two teams in the future.

"The restructuring decision will have serious implications for the players and for the game in South Africa. The lack of proper engagement with SACA before making this decision has left us with no alternative but to approach the court to challenge that decision."

SACA CEO Tony Irish stressed on the ramifications that such restructuring could lead to, and asked for CSA to produce documents and records that formed the rationale behind its decision.

"SACA's application has been filed in the South Gauteng local division of the High Court under case number 18985/2019. It also calls on CSA to deliver to the court, and to SACA, documents and records which CSA relied upon in making the decision to restructure domestic cricket," Irish said.

"CSA will now need to decide on whether or not to oppose our court application and if it opposes, it will need to file answering papers and SACA will have the right to reply to those. We expect that the legal process, which culminates in the hearing of our application in court, will take about three to four months," Irish said.

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