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CSA calls off Pakistan tour citing players’ workload

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South Africa have withdrawn their interest from touring Pakistan for three T20Is considering their players’ workload following the India tour next month. The proposed tour will be rescheduled later after both boards find a new window this year.

South Africa’s tour to Pakistan was mainly facing logistical challenges and CSA was planning to send a security delegation to Pakistan next months during the PSL to assess security arrangements. As South Africa end their tour to India of three ODIs on March 18, the PCB intended to make them stay in Dubai – with the PSL ending on March 22 – and then fly them directly to Islamabad for the three T20Is in Rawalpindi.

South Africa are currently hosting England for T20Is with the tour ending on Sunday after four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. Within five days after the last game against England, they will host Australia for three T20Is and as many ODIs, stretching the last game to March 7. They have to then fly to India and play three ODIs starting March 12.

With the IPL expected to begin on March 28, fitting in three more white-ball games in Pakistan in a span of two weeks would have made it hectic for South Africa this year.

However, South Africa have not been the busiest team since the World Cup last year. They have played 13 matches across formats since then, 10th on the list among teams that play the three formats.

More to follow…



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FICA finds players with pay issues from six T20 leagues, including BPL

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Over a third of all players have experienced either late or non-payment problems in a host of domestic T20 leagues across the world, according to the latest annual players’ report. The Men’s Global Employment Report 2020, put together by the global players’ body, Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), found that 34% of all players had experienced payment troubles.

The body identified six leagues where players have recently experienced pay issues:

The BPL is the only wholly Full Member-run league in that list, but the others – including the GLT20 Canada, the Abu Dhabi T10 and the Euro T20 Slam, which is partly organised by Full Member Cricket Ireland – have attracted big-name players from across the globe.

Protests at the GLT20 last year led to players refusing to take the field in one game. And the Euro T20 Slam, run by the same organising group behind the Canada League, was ultimately called off two weeks before it was due to start because of financial problems.

FICA urged the ICC towards greater involvement in the matter, given that it ultimately sanctions these leagues – a recognition that helps these leagues to attract cricketers.

“Systematic contract breaches and non-payment of players are issues that urgently need addressing,” Tom Moffat, FICA’s CEO, said. “The ICC has an obligation to protect people working within its regulatory frameworks and it’s time something was done about this issue.

“We continue to urge decision-makers to work with FICA at global level, and players’ associations at domestic level, to develop joint solutions to issues highlighted in these reports.”

Because a number of members, including India and Pakistan, don’t have player associations FICA said it believed the true figure of players who have faced problems with payment is “much higher”.

“This is completely unacceptable and there are clear solutions to this issue,” the report stated.

Much of the gaze of the annual report – FICA’s second – is centred around the squeeze in the game’s calendar. The ongoing fallout from the co-existence of domestic T20 leagues alongside international cricket has been a continuing focus for FICA.

FICA said the global structure of international cricket is a “mess”, calling the World Test Championship (WTC) “a sticking plaster solution,” which will not solve basic inequities in the game. “There is significant inconsistency across countries, formats and schedules,” the report said. “Whilst the challenges associated with developing a clear and coherent global structure are understood, the mess of international cricket is confusing for fans and chaotic for players and player pathways.”

Despite the issues with payments, a survey of 277 current men’s internationals found that 53% would still consider becoming freelance cricketers and reject a national central contract if better domestic league contracts were on offer.



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CWI could trim board in response to task force recommendations

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The CWI board could be cut to nine members if governance reforms recommended by an independent task force are accepted.

CWI currently features an 18-member board including 12 members put forward from the regional boards. But a task force, headed by Jamaican senator Don Wehby, has called for the board to be cut to 12 immediately and nine eventually.

It has also called for the board “to reflect a wide cross section of skills and competencies” and include a minimum of two women. There is currently one woman on the board.

If the recommendations are to be enacted, they will have to be accepted by the current board. That means current board members would effectively have to agree to their own removal.

The task force, which also included Sir Hilary Beckles, Deryck Murray and Charles Wilkin QC, was formed at the request of CWI’s president, Ricky Skerritt, to look into corporate governance at the organisation. Alongside a streamlining of the board, it called for a redefining of the role of the president and vice-president to ensure they were “more board specific and non-executive”.

The recommendation would appear to stem from a previous report, by independent auditors PKF, which raised concerns that during the presidency of Dave Cameron, Skerritt’s predecessor, the line between president and executive was often blurred. Cameron has denied all allegations made in the report.

Other recommendations in the 36-page task force report include the establishment of a nominations committee to “identify and evaluate potential directors and to nominate future directors and committee members” and a reduction in the number of CWI committees from 12 to five. Such a change would be likely see more independent directors, with less influence – and arguably less partisanship – from the regions.

The report, which was compiled after months of consultation and observation of best practice elsewhere, also noted that reform was needed to ensure the sustainability of CWI. It highlighted the “need to foster the rebuilding of trust and a common purpose between CWI and the other stakeholders, especially with regional governments”.

It follows the PKF audit, which suggested CWI has suffered from overly optimistic revenue projections and unsustainable costs. That audit also criticised an opaque and inadequate accounting system, which enabled abuses to go unreported and posed a threat to “the board’s long-term sustainability”.

Former presidents and officials of CWI had previously urged CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) to conduct a forensic audit of the board in order to save West Indies cricket from “absolute and total downfall”.

Skerritt’s ability to see the recommendations enacted may define the success of his period as president. When running for office, he promised to provide greater accountability and transparency. Comprehensive reform and modernisation of CWI’s governance structure would form a major part of that.



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Cricket

CWI could trim board in response to task force recommendations

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The CWI board could be cut to nine members if governance reforms recommended by an independent task force are accepted.

CWI currently features an 18-member board including 12 members put forward from the regional boards. But a task force, headed by Jamaican senator Don Wehby, has called for the board to be cut to 12 immediately and nine eventually.

It has also called for the board “to reflect a wide cross section of skills and competencies” and include a minimum of two women. There is currently one woman on the board.

If the recommendations are to be enacted, they will have to be accepted by the current board. That means current board members would effectively have to agree to their own removal.

The task force, which also included Sir Hilary Beckles, Deryck Murray and Charles Wilkin QC, was formed at the request of CWI’s president, Ricky Skerritt, to look into corporate governance at the organisation. Alongside a streamlining of the board, it called for a redefining of the role of the president and vice-president to ensure they were “more board specific and non-executive”.

The recommendation would appear to stem from a previous report, by independent auditors PKF, which raised concerns that during the presidency of Dave Cameron, Skerritt’s predecessor, the line between president and executive was often blurred. Cameron has denied all allegations made in the report.

Other recommendations in the 36-page task force report include the establishment of a nominations committee to “identify and evaluate potential directors and to nominate future directors and committee members” and a reduction in the number of CWI committees from 12 to five. Such a change would be likely see more independent directors, with less influence – and arguably less partisanship – from the regions.

The report, which was compiled after months of consultation and observation of best practice elsewhere, also noted that reform was needed to ensure the sustainability of CWI. It highlighted the “need to foster the rebuilding of trust and a common purpose between CWI and the other stakeholders, especially with regional governments”.

It follows the PKF audit, which suggested CWI has suffered from overly optimistic revenue projections and unsustainable costs. That audit also criticised an opaque and inadequate accounting system, which enabled abuses to go unreported and posed a threat to “the board’s long-term sustainability”.

Former presidents and officials of CWI had previously urged CARICOM (the Caribbean Community) to conduct a forensic audit of the board in order to save West Indies cricket from “absolute and total downfall”.

Skerritt’s ability to see the recommendations enacted may define the success of his period as president. When running for office, he promised to provide greater accountability and transparency. Comprehensive reform and modernisation of CWI’s governance structure would form a major part of that.



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