CSA President and Chairman of the Board, Chris Nenzani, has responded to Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith’s endorsement of former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly as a potential candidate for the Chairman of the ICC.
Smith recommended Ganguly during a virtual press briefing on Thursday to replace Shashank Manohar for the position with the election due to take place at the end of the year.
‘Post COVID(19), to have strong leadership is going to be important. I feel that Saurav Ganguly is best positioned for that at the moment. He’s got the credibility, he’s got the leadership skills & he’s someone who can really take the game forward,’ Smith told reporters.
Smith and CSA Acting CEO, Jacques Faul, emphasised the need for proper leadership under the current circumstances, which will lead to clear guidance for the game post Covid-19.
‘I think it will be good for the game; I think it will be good for the modern game as well. He understands it; he has played it at the highest level; he is respected and his leadership will be key to us going forward.
‘Having dealt with Sourav for a long time I think that the president of the ICC now becomes a very key position going forward in terms of how the game can progress at the right level,’ added Smith.
The former Proteas captain’s comments, however, weren’t entirely backed up by Nenzani, who quickly backtracked on the idea of throwing support behind a specific candidate.
Until now, former England and Wales Cricket Board’s chairman Colin Graves seemed favourite to take over from Manohar.
‘We must respect both the ICC protocol and our own protocol in deciding which candidate to back,’ said Nenzani in a press-release late on Thursday evening.
‘There have been no candidates nominated as yet and once such nominations have been made the Board of CSA will take its decision in terms of its own protocol and give the chairman the mandate to exercise his vote as an ICC Board Director accordingly.
‘We have the highest regard for the opinions of our Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, who is a well-respected figure in world cricket and has already made an immense contribution in fulfilling his mandate to make our cricket teams world leaders again.
‘At the moment we don’t want to anticipate any candidates who may be nominated for this important position to lead the game we all love,’ concluded Nenzani.
Ganguly was voted in as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in October last year, an appointment that CSA has seen as vital to rebuild the relationship between the two countries.
Earlier this year Smith and Faul conducted a trip to India to meet with Ganguly and the BCCI, which led to the announcement on Thursday of a three-match T20 series between the Proteas and India in South Africa in August, should it be allowed by government.