After successfully onboarding Viacom18 as the official broadcaster in India for the inaugural season of the SA20, slated to take place in January 2023, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has advised the franchises to sign a Wildcard each, with no cap on the price. However, the franchises will have to dish out a minimum fee of R175,000 for the signing that is supposed to end before December 30.
"The minimum League Fee payable to the Wildcard Player shall be R175 000. There shall be no maximum limit on the League Fee for which a Wildcard Player may be contracted," SA20 said in a recent advisory to all the franchises.
The flexibility in the rule allows the franchises to pick either a local South African player or an unsigned overseas player. Even a player not a part of the SA20 auction in September can be signed as well. That would mean teams can have an 18-player strength with a maximum of eight overseas players. If the player later becomes unavailable, the franchises will be allowed to look for a replacement.
"Each Franchisee may increase its Registered Squad for the 2023 Season to 18 Players through the selection and contracting of an additional Player. The Wildcard Player may either be a South African Player or an Overseas Player.
"The Wildcard Player need not have been registered for the Player Auction. Each Franchisee shall accordingly be permitted to have a maximum of 8 Overseas Players in its Registered Squad (if a Wildcard player is taken by the Franchise). The maximum number of Overseas Players (currently 4) on the field of play at any time during any Match remains unchanged (sic)," the two-page guidelines, seen by Cricbuzz, state.
Initially, Cricket South Africa introduced a Salary Cap for every player, which was originally fixed at $2 million and franchises moved with that strategy during the September 19 auction in Cape Town. However, now that the Cap is removed for the Wildcard entry that may allow some big players to join the league.
"These Wildcard Rules form part of the Regulations with which all Franchisees, as per their Franchise Team License and Playing Agreement ("Franchise Agreement") must comply, and should be read in conjunction with, the Player Regulations. Unless otherwise defined herein, defined terms shall have the meaning assigned to them in the Player Regulations and Franchise Agreement," the advisory stated.