Conflict looms in SA cricket
Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the country's cricketers appeared to be headed for conflict on Thursday, just 11 days before the expiry of a four-year agreement between officials and players.
The South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) issued a statement on Thursday which contradicted one put out by CSA on Wednesday.
The official body claimed that it was seeking as a matter of urgency to conclude a new five-year memorandum of agreement (MOU) with the players.
CSA stated that it was willing to extend existing contracts if an agreement was not finalised by April 30, the expiry date of the current deal. It said it planned to have a new agreement in place by July.
But SACA chief executive Tony Irish responded by saying that CSA's plans had caused consternation among players at a time when retaining players within the South African system was a matter of concern.
"We are both surprised and disappointed that CSA has seen fit to make a public statement announcing plans relating to the MOU without giving us any proper opportunity to respond to, or to deal with, these first," said Irish.
Irish said a suggestion by CSA that there had been negotiations with SACA on the MOU was incorrect. "Negotiations on the key elements have yet to start," he said.
Irish said he was concerned by the "unworkability" of some aspects of proposals by CSA. He said SACA had been trying for three months to engage with the controlling body in order for agreement to be reached by April 30.
Key elements of the MOU include contracts with national and franchise players, as well as players' commercial rights.