South Africa’s new domestic structure: 2 tiers, 15 first-class teams, 205 contracted players

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Six-team franchise system to be dissolved as 75 cricketers set to lose contracts

Seventy-five South African domestic cricketers will lose their contracts in a restructuring that will dissolve the six-team franchise system which has been in place for 17 seasons. A new set-up, which will consist of 15 first-class teams playing in two tiers, will come into place in the summer of 2021-22

CSA’s interim board and members’ council – the body made up of the 14 provincial presidents, which is the highest decision-making authority in the country’s game – endorsed the changes on the recommendation of former ICC CEO David Richardson’s task team and after consultation with the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA). The new system will consist of two divisions, split 8-7, and will include promotion and relegation. The divisional split will be decided by a bidding system.

Both divisions will play four-day and one-day cricket and there will be two distinct T20 tournaments. The Division 1 teams will compete in the Mzansi Super League (MSL) and in a knockout T20 competition with the Division 2 teams, who will not have a 20-over competition of their own. Players from Division 2 teams could get picked for the MSL via a player draft.

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