Cricket South Africa has announced the restructuring of its domestic cricket by doing away with the previous system that had 13 provincial teams and six franchise teams and instead bringing in a new format with 15 teams that will be divided into two divisions.
Under the new structure, the current six-team franchise cricket make-up (including provincial teams) will be dissolved and replaced by a 15-team first-class system. The format will see the teams split 8-7 into a Division 1 and Division 2 arrangement with automatic promotion and relegation to be implemented.
“The calendar for Division 1 will be similar to the current system where the eight teams will play four-day, one-day and the Twenty20 cricket (MSL) all in a single round. The same eight teams will also compete in a domestic T20 knockout tournament with the seven teams from Division 2, whose season will comprise of a four-day and one-day competition. Division 2 players will have an opportunity to play in the MSL (Mzansi Super League T20) via a Player Draft. Proteas and other international players will also feature in the Player Draft,” said a statement from Cricket South Africa.
However, the new format will also see loss of contracts to professional cricketers.
About 75 cricketers are expected to lose jobs according to reports.
“In total, the new system will see 205 players contracted (16 to each of the eight Division 1 teams and 11 to each of the seven Division 2 teams), 75 fewer than the current 280, across six franchises and 13 semi-professional provincial teams,” said a report in ESPNCricinfo.com.
Currently, India and England also employ multi-division format in their domestic competitions.