CSA and the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) will have an urgent meeting on Wednesday to try and reach common ground on player contracts, which SACA hopes will in place by May 1. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CSA and SACA, which expires on April 30, is likely to be delayed, leaving the majority of South Africa's cricketers out of contract - a situation SACA wants to avoid.
Though it is unlikely that there will be a mass walkout if players are out of contract, it would mean players will not get paid and could cause the already tense relations and the board to worsen. Last week, CSA's acting CEO Thabang Moroe said the board would look to roll the player contracts over until July, when it hoped to have the MOU finalised, but SACA claimed to have had no communication of such plans.
SACA has stressed that contracts could not simply be rolled over as they would need to fit into the framework of the new MOU. SACA also blamed the governing body for the delays and said messages to CSA had gone unanswered for several weeks.
Now it appears the player contracts could be completed by the time the MOU expires, which would allow for some calm to return. "We're hoping to reach some kind of agreement which will at least enable player contracts to actually happen on May 1," Tony Irish, the SACA chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo. "If we don't reach agreement by the end of the week at the latest I think the current level of uncertainty and concern will escalate further."
Both CSA and SACA have indicated that the MOU will remain largely the same, despite initial statements last December that the board wanted to move away from the revenue-sharing model. CSA has said, however, that it wants to redefine the relationship with SACA, which could mean a change in some of the terms of the MOU.