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We had to abandon Aussie series to ensure sustainability of the sport says CSA CEO

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The organisation’s chief executive, Pholetsi Moseki said it had to do so to ensure the sustainability of the sport in the country.

Cricket SA chief executive Pholetsi Moseki
The organisation’s chief executive, Pholetsi Moseki said it had to do so to ensure the sustainability of the sport in the country. Picture: Muzi Ntombela, BackpagePix

Johannesburg – Cricket South Africa acknowledged that it has made the Proteas job to qualify for next year’s World Cup much tougher by cancelling a One-Day series with Australia.

The organisation’s chief executive, Pholetsi Moseki said it had to do so to ensure the sustainability of the sport in the country. Cricket SA is pinning its financial future on a new T20 franchise competition that will launch in January.

The decision to withdraw from the ODI series with Australia, that was scheduled to be played at the same time, was made so that the Proteas players would be available for the local T20 competition.

ALSO READ: Proteas’ World Cup hopes in jeopardy after they withdraw from ODI series Down Under

As a result the Proteas have effectively sacrificed points in the ICC Super League competition that will decide the automatic qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup that takes place in  India next year.

“One of the hardest conversations that I’ve had is with Temba (Bavuma) and Mark (Boucher), last week, to explain what’s been happening, and this is where we landed. They were bitterly disappointed because they understood the implications.”

Moseki said CSA had provided five options to Cricket Australia to reschedule the series, but the two organisations couldn’t agree to revise dates.

South Africa is currently 11th on the Super League log, with the automatic qualifying spots reserved for those who finish in the top eight. The International Cricket Council will have to decide if the 30 points which would have been up for grabs in the three match series with Australia, will thus go to the home team.

“It has made automatic qualification (for the World Cup) very difficult for the team.”

Moseki said that CSA was anticipating millions of dollars being invested in the new T20 League, and not having the Proteas available would have been bad for the product.

South Africa is very likely going to end up in a 10 team qualification tournament that will be hosted in Zimbabwe in June/July next year.

Asked what the Proteas’ absence from the World Cup would mean, Moseki said: “ It will be a disaster for us. We are hosting the 2027 tournament, remember.”

Moseki said he could understand that the public would see the decision to abandon the One-Day series Down Under as CSA giving a domestic T20 League more importance than the World Cup.

“Even the players thought so as well. But for us, 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,” said Moseki.

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