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Dr Jacques Faul and Graeme Smith Address COVID-19 Restructuring

Cricket South Africa’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Jacques Faul and Interim Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith addressed members of the media on Tuesday morning regarding various matters, including the recent domestic restructuring and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national cricket landscape.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) today revealed its four-point plan to play it part in countering the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives to date and brought the globe to a standstill.

CSA Acting Chief Executive, Dr Jacques Faul, outlined the organization’s strategy to the media on Tuesday at an Executive Tele-press Conference that also featured CSA’s Interim Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, on Tuesday.

“Health is the most important thing at this point in time,” he emphasized. “The well-being of your loved ones.

“In this context you really feel for the poor. In our world, sport is the most important thing and it does feed a lot of people, but to be honest, the world has greater challenges at the moment.”

Faul and Smith fielded questions on a wide range of issues, with the CEO stressing that CSA was doing its best to keep everyone within their structures safe.

“We have a four-way strategy in terms of the Coronavirus and the first one is to make sure everybody is safe,” he explained. “I think we saw that implemented even before the lockdown (when the season was effectively ended by a 60-day termination of cricket).

“The second one is to use the voices of our stars to send out a coordinated message and we've seen that so far with some of our campaigns.

“The third one is to stay in contact with all our stakeholders so we can work out how they have been affected by the current situation and how it has affected us. We've been in touch with them and both parties have been engaging each other and we still are and will be in the coming weeks.

“And the fourth one relates to planning. To see how Covid-19 has impacted on us and how it will impact our finances. The world will never be the same again after this.

“This is a difficult time, you can imagine the anxiety amongst everyone, so we've devised this strategy to try and keep everyone updated as to what is going on.”

Globally there has also been a trend by sports stars to voluntarily forfeit wages or take salary cuts during the pandemic. Some have also been asked to take cuts, but Faul had some reassuring words for those that play the game professionally in South Africa.

“We are doing scenario planning at this stage, from three to six to nine months. For now we've budgeted for everything, so I don't foresee the situation impacting on the current contracts,” he revealed. “Both the Proteas and franchise players are all budgeted for.

“So, at this stage we have enough capacity to see us through the next season. Post the season we'll have to look at the longer-term impacts of Covid-19.”

Faul and Smith were also quizzed about the former Standard Bank Proteas captain’s current contract, which is close to expiry.

The CEO revealed that an announcement over Smith’s future will follow next week, adding: “We are in the final negotiations with Graeme and hope to make an announcement next week. We are at an advanced stage of the negotiations.”

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