Cricket South Africa’s members’ council has made a U-turn on its decision not to recognise the interim board.
In late October, Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa instructed CSA to work with a nine-member interim board to remedy the governance crisis at the organisation.
All seemed on track until last Wednesday, when the CSA members’ council announced that it did not recognise the interim board and would not ratify it for a myriad reasons.
This elicited a strong rebuke from Mthethwa, who said: ‘I find it most regrettable that you have purported to take the decision not to recognise the Interim Board.
‘I implore you and the Members’ Council to revisit this decision immediately, and to afford the necessary recognition to the Interim Board, failing which, I will exercise my powers under the Act and issue a directive in that regard.
‘It is most revealing that you do not allege that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. I would therefore like to think that to the extent that there has been some or other breakdown, that the relationship can be restored immediately in the best interests of the game of cricket, and in the public interest.’
It is now expected that CSA will relent and formally recognise the interim board, in accordance with the Companies Act.
It means that the International Cricket Council is unlikely to move to ban South African from international cricket, as it is constitutionally bound to do when governments interfere in the running of cricket. Had CSA stood firm, it was likely that Mthethwa would have stripped it of its status as cricket’s governing body and installed a government-determined board to run the game.
Furthermore, series against Sri Lanka, Australia and Pakistan are all likely to be unaffected. Mthethwa last week confirmed that the upcoming England series would go ahead.
It is unclear whether CSA’s members’ council will have any of the conditions it stipulated in last Wednesday’s media statements met. Among other things, they complained about the interim board’s power and influence and the composition of the board, with a specific focus on its head, Haroon Lorgat, who, it has intimated. has a conflict of interest.