The South African Cricketers’ Association (Saca) has called on the Cricket South Africa board of directors to stand down amid Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa’s plan to intervene at the governing body.
The Ministry of Sport released a statement early on Wednesday morning, with Mthethwa giving CSA time until 5pm on 27 October to present representations on why his department should not get involved.
In a statement of their own, Saca makes it clear that it no longer has any confidence in the CSA board of directors’ ability to lead the organisation out of the enduring crisis of the past 18 months.
The association suggests that an interim board of directors be created to help stabilise the operation, which should include a Saca players’ representative and one candidate from the remaining stakeholders.
‘Cricket is in an existential crisis, and the intervention of government will result in the International Cricket Council (ICC) reviewing CSA’s position as an ICC member, and will furthermore jeopardise the England tour scheduled for next month,’ said Saca CEO Andrew Breetzke.
According to previous reports, England are set to tour South Africa from November to December for three ODIs and three T20Is, although that seems highly unlikely at this stage. This will once again lead to a massive financial loss for CSA.
Government intervention, on the other hand, is strictly against the ICC’s constitution and CSA could be suspended by the ICC should Mthethwa follow through on his plan of interference.
Breetzke added that the consequence will be a significant loss to cricket players in the country as well as the many developmental plans the game has locally.
‘Players will suffer, development will suffer and the future of the game will be prejudiced. However, as has been recognised by DSAC and Sascoc, the current board has no credibility to resolve the crises, and it is clear that the current impasse between government and CSA will not be resolved until such time as the board stands down.
‘We therefore implore the CSA board to stand down and thereby take a decision that will be in the best interests of cricket,’ concluded Breetzke.
Former Cobras and Lions batsman Omphile Ramela, who is the president of Saca, added that CSA has proven it isn’t capable of rectifying its self-created mess.
‘As we have stated previously, CSA is not able to self-correct, and the intervention of government is further evidence of this. The current governance structure of CSA must be reviewed, and this has been acknowledged by CSA. The interim board must facilitate the implementation of the Nicholson recommendations through amendments to the MOI, as this will allow for an effective board of directors to ultimately take over the responsibility of the governance of the game.
‘The Fundudzi forensic report has identified various failures in governance, failures that have consistently been highlighted by Saca, and this is the opportunity to remedy these for the sake of the game and ensure that experienced personnel are recruited into key executive positions,’ Ramela said.