CSA eye franchise expansion
Johannesburg - Cricket SA (CSA) believes its domestic foundation is strong enough to expand its top-flight structures.
Embattled CSA CEO Gerald Majola said on Saturday there was enough talent in the sport to have more than six franchise teams competing at the highest level.
"We will review the structures of domestic cricket," Majola, setting aside the matter of an ongoing bonus saga, said after the CSA board held its quarterly meeting in Johannesburg.
"After moving from 11 provinces to six franchises [in 2003] we discovered that the new structure worked.
"There are some players, though, who are moving straight from [amateur] provincial teams to franchise teams and proving to be some of the best players in the system.
"Six [top-flight teams] might not be the right number. We think there are enough quality players who can move straight into franchise cricket."
If provinces, however, wanted to split from franchises to form additional top-flight teams, Majola said they would need to prove they could stand as separate entities.
"We need to ensure that the affiliates are financially viable and that the quality of franchise cricket is still there," he said.
The board, meanwhile, agreed to give seam bowler Vernon Philander a short-term national contract.
The contract would start on February 1, shortly before the Proteas depart for a tour of New Zealand, and would run till the end of the season.
Philander, 26, took 30 wickets in his first four Tests this season, at a remarkable average of 13.23.
"The awarding of a contract is well deserved," Majola said.
"It also gives the team management the tools to manage his workload correctly as the Proteas embark on a very busy international year that includes away tours to New Zealand, England and Australia as well as the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka."
In order to prepare the national side for the World T20 tournament in September, the board also announced that five additional matches had been added to the schedule this season.
Apart from three T20 matches against New Zealand, and three against England, the Proteas would play five T20 games against Zimbabwe ahead of the global championships.