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Ken Borland

CSA CEO Moseki says he loves Test cricket and feels terrible 0

Posted on October 12, 2022 by Ken

CSA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki says he felt like the most hated man in South African cricket last week, but he would like to assure that the Test format is still his favourite and he would love the Proteas to still play five-Test series against The Big Three and for the local public to fill up stadiums watching them.

Moseki was at the forefront of CSA’s controversial decision to play just 28 Tests in the five-year period of the Future Tours Programme starting next year. This is despite South Africa being top of the World Test Championship and The Big Three of India, Australia and England playing between 38 and 43 Tests in the same period.

It is not just Test matches that are being cut, the Proteas will only play 39 ODIs and 43 T20s, their 110 international matches in the next five years being the least of all Full Members except Zimbabwe.

Moseki is sad that this is the case, but it is due to the financial situation CSA are in, and the congested calendar due to all the T20 franchise leagues around the world. Their own T20 league takes January out of the equation, but that has to be a success if CSA are not to fall into a financial pit.

“We love Test cricket at CSA and it is my favourite format personally. Unfortunately we are in a tough position that demands we prioritise things that don’t cause a financial loss,” Moseki told Saturday Citizen.

“The Big Three have broadcast deals that are so significant that playing Tests is still worth it for them. We would love to play five-Test series against them, but for us smaller guys, the biggest challenge is that the calendar just squeezes us out.

“And our major broadcast deals are with Indian companies and they don’t value Test cricket as much, white-ball cricket is what attracts the premium amounts, and the rate for India matches is far higher.

“So we have different balls we have to juggle and alternative revenue streams like our T20 league have become vital for our survival. We can’t cover all our expenses when we play Test cricket.”

This situation of the haves and the have-nots will continue to ail international cricket until the ICC steps up and finds a solution for the good of the global game. South Africa simply cannot afford to play lots of bilateral cricket, especially expensive Test matches, until their finances are stable.

“We had no choice. Even with the significant distributions from ICC tournaments every year now, if our T20 league does not succeed then we will have to restructure domestic cricket.

“We will have to cut back the number of provinces and players,” Moseki warned, “And I’m not talking 20% cuts, I’m talking a total restructure. We’ll probably start playing international cricket in August.”

For now, Moseki says he is willing to take his licks from the public, as long as they come out in numbers and do support the few home Tests that the Proteas will play.

“We see the numbers watching our Proteas do so brilliantly in England, so let’s hope all the critics of our decision come and watch us against the West Indies next summer.

“It will make me feel more terrible, but I really hope that hunger for Test cricket translates into capacity crowds,” Moseki said.

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