TELFORD VICE, Perth
SOUTH African cricket moved closer to its first player strike on Thursday when it emerged that Western Cape Cricket (WCC) had rejected the South African Cricketers’ Association’s (SACA) proposal for resolving the dispute between Cobras’ players and their coach, Paul Adams.
On October 18, at a meeting with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), WCC and the players agreed to try and find a solution within the next 14 days.
“We had proposed a process for an independent cricket person to monitor and assess the coach’s situation on the ground within the team over a three-week period and thereafter to make a recommendation as to what should happen with the coaching situation,” SACA chief executive Tony Irish was quoted as saying in a release.
“His recommendation would be accepted by all, and binding on the players, SACA and the franchise, and it would dispose of the current dispute.
“The franchise has however rejected the proposal out of hand without proposing any alternative, despite having indicated to us that they were in favour of some form of monitoring.”
The impasse is taking its toll on the field, where the Cobras have lost three of their four first-class matches and are at the bottom of the log.
Alan Dawson, who was appointed the Cobras’ convenor of selectors in September, has resigned because – the SACA release said – “he believes it is impossible to work in an environment in which there is a fundamental problem between players and coach”.
WCC’s behaviour would lead to SACA approaching the CCMA to “seek a certificate of outcome from the CCMA confirming that the dispute has not been resolved”.
Irish was quoted as saying that, “The issuing of this certificate will enable players to embark on lawful and protected industrial action (such as a strike), following proper notice to be given, should the players elect to go this route.
“Any kind of industrial action is always a very last resort for players and we hope it doesn’t come to that.
“However the players have been asking the franchise to properly address this issue for many months, but to no avail, and have exhausted every constructive process available to them with the franchise.”
Cricket South Africa (CSA) will now be given the chance to rescue the situation.
“We will now seek CSA’s assistance and intervention before considering what further steps to take,” Irish was quoted as saying.