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Ken Borland

Changing domestic structure not addressing the true problems in SA cricket – Pybus 0

Posted on May 06, 2020 by Ken

Richard Pybus has been one of the real legends of domestic coaching in South Africa, having won nine trophies with the Titans and Cape Cobras franchises, but he began his career guiding lowly Border into a position where they were competitive against the big guns of local cricket. So when the former Pakistan and West Indies coach says plans to change the domestic structure, increasing the top level to 12 provincial teams, are not addressing the true problems in South African cricket then his views should be considered seriously.

“It’s a terrible idea,” Pybus said of the plan to do away with the six franchises at the top table of domestic cricket. “They are trying to fix the wrong thing. The issue is the administration of the game and not franchise cricket. Why are Cricket South Africa in their current financial position? They should review that. Why pull apart a highly effective system, the same sort of model that has given Australia consistent success?

“The issue is not our model but getting our administration right. Our problems are not about the franchise game, that’s giving us what is needed, which is incredible competition, the best 66 players in the country going up against each other. The franchise system was directly responsible and supported our national team getting to number one. We want strength versus excellence, not to dilute that,” Pybus told The Citizen from his house in Hermanus.

The 55-year-old Pybus said the domestic system needed to reflect the differences between the high-performance needs of the Proteas pipeline and those of growing the game.

“Our cricket has lots of layers and it needs to be clearer whether those layers serve the recreational game or the Proteas, with a lot of layers not really serving either of them. A lot of our cricket should not be professional and any changes should be about strengthening that level. We have a brilliant, multi-cultural game and it also needs to be inclusive.

“The development programme does have some issues, there are not enough players coming from Black communities, but that has nothing to do with franchise cricket. There are geographical and historical reasons for those issues. Coaching is also a real problem and it will take a generation to transform that because we have pushed all our senior coaches out, that intellectual capital is gone,” Pybus said.

Why CSA have said no to more franchises 1

Posted on May 02, 2017 by Ken


Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat explained on Tuesday that Cricket South Africa have said no to the idea of increasing the number of franchises because they want to give more attention to the semi-professional level that is the second tier of domestic cricket.

There has been speculation over the last couple of years that the number of franchises would be increased from six to either seven or eight. But Lorgat said this has now been put on the backburner, with CSA deciding instead to focus on the next level down.

“The decision actually came out of our domestic review, which was a very detailed report and indicated that there is work to be done at the semi-professional level. We are open-minded about it and there might come a day when we move from six franchises.

“But extra franchises have got to be sustainable and we’re only now at the point where each franchise is, at the very worst, breaking even, although I expect them all to announce surpluses at the end of this financial year at the end of the month. But now we want to grow the base and what we now call semi-professional, we want to make that professional.

“At the moment there are only seven full-time contracts per provincial team in the system and it’s arguable whether players are able to sustain themselves on those contracts. So we want to lift that up and we will take the same money we would have used for a seventh franchise to uplift semi-pro cricket,” Lorgat said at the launch of the Africa Cup 2017 at the Wanderers on Tuesday.

An exodus of players to earn pounds in English cricket has taken its toll on the South African game, and Lorgat said CSA hoped raising the standard and lucrativeness of cricket below franchise level would encourage players to stay.

“If we can raise the competitive nature of that cricket then we can use that tier to hopefully sustain guys until they get a crack at franchise level. The Africa Cup has brought more names to the fore and I know the coaches are excited about the opportunity it gives players to shine. We’ve identified the second tier as being an area where we need to widen opportunity,” Lorgat said.

The Africa Cup is the T20 competition that has kicked off the last two seasons and is considered the bridge between senior provincial and franchise cricket, with the 12 CSA provinces plus KZN Inland and Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya playing in a tournament that mixes fully professional cricketers with those from the semi-pro ranks.

The Africa Cup has been the gateway to success for players like Heinrich Klaasen, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi and Andile Phehlukwayo, who are all now part of the Proteas’ plans.

Lorgat confirmed that following the Africa Cup in August/September and the introduction of the new showpiece global T20 league in November/December, the existing franchises’ CSA T2O Challenge will now shift to late summer, probably in April 2018.

“There is a risk of too much T20 cricket, but access of opportunity is really the driver and it also brings more transformation players to the fore. We have to develop players and give them opportunities to aspire towards developing into something more. We have the Africa Cup and the T20 global league and we’ve got to have something in between.

“First-class and 50-over cricket are acknowledged as being crucial in the development of players, whether there are supporters watching or not, so it will be the same for the CSA T2O Challenge at the end of the season,” Lorgat said.

The draw for the Africa Cup, which starts on August 25 and will be hosted on successive weekends by Benoni, Potchefstroom, Bloemfontein and Kimberley, was made on Tuesday and defending champions Eastern Province find themselves in the same pool as hosts North-West, dominant provincial side Northerns and Gauteng.


Pool A   (Willowmoore Park, 25-27 August): Easterns, Western Province, South-Western Districts, Namibia.

Pool B   (Senwes Park, 1-3 September): North-West, Northerns, Gauteng, Eastern Province.

Pool C   (Mangaung Oval, 9-11 September): Free State, KZN Inland, Zimbabwe, Boland.

Pool D   (Diamond Oval, 15-17 September): Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Kenya, Border.

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