Cape Town - Domestic cricket in South Africa could be set for a dramatic shake-up.
A report on Netwerk24 suggests that a change as early as the 2020/21 season could see a return to a more traditional product that would see 12 provincial teams competing against each other.
It would effectively mean the death of the current franchise system.
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There are presently six franchises operating at the highest level of domestic cricket in South Africa, while there are a further 13 semi-professional outfits playing in Cricket South Africa (CSA) competitions.
A move to 12 teams, according to the report, could save CSA around R70 million.
Currently, the semi-professional sides can offer contracts to 11 players each while all six franchises have their own contracting models.
Under the new system, the 12 provincial sides would be allowed to contract 18 players each, which would significantly lessen the total amount of professional contracts in South African cricket.
When asked about the proposal, Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Thabang Moroe could not confirm anything.
He acknowledged, however, that CSA's 14 member unions had asked for intervention.
The thinking is that the new 12-team system would give more playing opportunities to more players in South Africa.
Any change would not be able to happen before the 2020/21 season given that player contracting has already been done for the 2019/20 season.
The six franchises currently playing in the top tier of South African domestic cricket are the Cape Cobras, Warriors, Dolphins, Knights, Highveld Lions and Titans.
The 14 semi-professional provinces include Western Province, Boland, South Western Districts, Eastern Province, Border, KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Free State, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Northerns, Easterns, North West and Mpumalanga.