Johannesburg: The South African Cricket Players` Association will oppose any expansion plans by Cricket South Africa that may lead to professional players receiving less pay, according to SACA chief executive Tony Irish.

"We cannot be in a situation where current players go backwards financially in order to accommodate an increase in numbers," Irish told newspapers in reaction to plans by CSA to expand the current franchises for domestic cricket to 12 sides.

Irish said SACA was in favour of more playing opportunities for aspiring Proteas at local level.

"But if any expansion is done poorly or without necessary research and planning, it might ultimately result in even less playing opportunities than we have now, or even the total collapse of professional cricket," Irish said.

The franchise players currently share almost 20 per cent of CSA`s annual turnover in a model designed to ensure that the more successful they are, the higher their pay.

But detractors of the proposed changes claim that quality would become diluted, playing standards would fall and the lack of appropriate infrastructure in the new provincial areas in the plan would contribute to this.

Concerns were also expressed about financial viability of effectively doubling the number of professional cricketers, especially as CSA is battling to find sponsors in the wake of two years of wrangling over huge IPL II bonuses that CSA chief executive Gerald Majola allegedly paid to himself and other CSA staff.

IPL II was played in South Africa due to security concerns around general elections in India at the time.

(Agencies)