CSA’s T20 league not the ace up the sleeve they claim in World Cup punt
JUST when you thought Cricket South Africa (CSA) were getting their act together, they go and wet the bed.
What are they thinking putting the Proteas’ chances of qualifying for next year’s World Cup in jeopardy for a T20 competition?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, CSA have forfeited the Proteas’ tour to Australia in January 2023 because it clashes with the schedule of the South Africa’s new international T20 league.
At stake were 30 log points in the ICC World Cup Super League.
And with the 11th-placed Proteas exactly 30 points outside of the top-eight sides who are guaranteed a place in the India showpiece, they have taken this decision with no window available to play the bilateral series against Oz before the automatic World Cup places are finalised next May.
It’s one hell of a call and a hell of a risk on the part of the CSA bosses.
But CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki insists it’s the only call they could make.
PROTEAS WITHDRAWN FROM ODI TOUR TO AUSTRALIA 🚨
CSA had asked the hosts to reconsider the dates originally set aside for January but Cricket Australia announced they have been unable to find alternative dates
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) July 13, 2022
Explaining the shocking decision this week, he says: “This is not just a T20 competition, this is really about the sustainability of our game.
“It’s a short-term sacrifice, but it’s one we have to make for the long-term sustainability of the game in this country.”
Now that I’ve got you in the frame, I’m sure you have questions.
Watte T20 league? And how are we going to miss out on a World Cup?
Let’s start with the first question.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a very good answer. And that’s because details around this new T20 league have been scarce.
With less than six months before the tournament launches, no franchises have been announced, no sponsors and not even an event name.
What we do know is that local and foreign investors are pumping huge amounts of money into a tournament CSA are hoping can attract the IPL-quality stars and the cash to match.
Broadcast rights are set to be sold off to generate more money, which the national governing body will be able use to develop the game further.
That is, of course, the big idea. But it doesn’t work so here by us, as they say.
None of these things have been made public.
With bad decisions a genuine hallmark of the South African cricket body in the last decade or so, public confidence is low.
And now they are asking us to trust them as they gamble with a place in the next World Cup as the wager.
With Temba Bavuma’s ODI side stuggling to get their game into top gear, finishing in the top eight of the World Cup qualification log already looks far away.
Mark Boucher’s boys are currently in England for three one-dayers and getting the full 30 points will be tough, especially with questions around consistency at the top of the batting order.
And having made the decision to withdraw from January’s trip Down Under, the Aussies may be handed the points from their triple header, depending on the ICC’s judgement.
With no other matches confirmed before the May cut-off just yet, South Africa are destined for a 10-team play-off tournament next June-July.
With just the top two teams booking tickets for the World Cup after a round-robin and knockout phase, CSA’s gamble will be either a royal flush or a royal duck.