Transparency is key if the head honchos at Cricket South Africa want to win back the trust and respect of the nation and its cricket supporters.
One of the key factors in the Springboks’ run to World Cup glory was Rassie Erasmus’ honesty and transparent approach to the job. After years of cloak and daggers proceeding Erasmus’ tenure, the new director of rugby made an effort to be truthful and straightforward when it came to sensitive issues.
It’s something that endeared him to the public and the media alike. It took a lot of pressure off his shoulders to concentrate on his job and not worry about what sort of curve balls will be thrown at him when potential half-truths are contradicted by media reports.
This is a lesson the people running cricket in this country can take to heart, because their actions over the last year has left us all bewildered and wondering if they can genuinely still be trusted to run the game we all love.
With just over three weeks before the first Test against England in Centurion on Boxing Day, the Proteas still don’t have a man who is going to lead them into battle. It’s a marquee Test series at home, but Cricket South Africa still hasn’t appointed a team director and the people to help that person prepare the side.
What is the reason for the delay? No one knows, because CSA has kept everybody in the dark. And then, when journalists write about the fact that this Proteas team could be on a hiding to nothing because of poor preparations, the governing body revokes their accreditation to attend matches and complains about ‘unmediated attacks’ – whatever that means – from the media.
Seasoned cricket scribe Stuart Hess was one of the journalists who had his accreditation revoked because he criticised CSA for its communication – or lack thereof – especially regarding the coaching situation ahead of the England series.
‘CSA’s communication skills are so bad as to be non-existent. They don’t know how to communicate with the South African public – the most important entity in the game in this country – nor do they know how to communicate with the players and they don’t know how to communicate with each other, whether it be the staff at CSA or the administrators,’ Hess wrote in his column for IOL.
‘That CSA’s head of media and communications, Thamie Mthembu, doesn’t deem the South African public worthy of knowing who will pick the Proteas team that will take the field against England in four weeks time is disgraceful.’
Journalists are always after the truth. It’s as simple as that. And in this age where it’s a lot easier to verify information, it’s easy to call someone’s bluff or expose their lies.
The public – the country’s real stakeholders in cricket – wants to know what the hold-up is with selecting a coach. But instead of just telling us the truth, CSA wants to pick fights which make them look like bullies and dictators who don’t have the game’s best interest at heart.
Rassie Erasmus made the decision to play open cards and was handsomely rewarded with a World Cup win. CSA owes the nation an apology and the truth. It’s the only way towards redemption for this past year’s shenanigans.
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