Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa must give Cricket South Africa’s members’ council the ultimatum to either co-operate with the interim board or be completely stripped of its status and funding.
Just as one thought CSA was moving past the mess they created, their members’ council, comprised of the 14 provincial affiliate presidents, released a statement declaring that it doesn’t recognise the interim board and therefore refuse to work with them in rebuilding cricket administratively.
CSA sent out a wordy media release on Thursday afternoon. In a nutshell, and translated from CSA speak, this is what they wanted and presumably didn’t get:
– To control who made it on to the interim board
– How it was structured
– To decide on the roles and responsibilities of board members
– Ultimate control of the rebuilding process without the interim board’s powers of intervention.
They claim to have ‘material concerns’ around the composition of the interim board, which is believed to be focused on the status of Haroon Lorgat as its acting CEO. Acting CSA president Rihan Richards alluded to this in a media conference on Thursday saying: ‘We raised potential conflicts of interest related to other individuals as well as on the interim committee and also indicated clearly why we thought those individuals would have a big bearing on [on matters].’
Richards went on to say that they are pushing ahead with the running of the game, adding that they would release a ‘plan of how cricket matters would be addressed going forward’.
The patients want to run the asylum. Again. And the patients don’t want to be held to account for their actions.
Richards is in denial. CSA’s members’ council want us to believe they were victims of former CEO Thabang Moroe and a small handful of cronies going rogue. They want us to accept that the same members’ council they offer as having the competence to rebuild cricket, didn’t sit by passively as their organisation crumbled. They did and they need to be constantly reminded of their failings.
This disqualifies them from making the types of demands they did on Thursday. It disqualifies them from getting in their feelings about perceived ill-treatment by the interim board. It is time for them to comply or be sidelined from this process completely.
That power lies with minister Mthethwa, and while his department has yet to respond publicly to CSA’s statement, it is unlikely that he will take kindly to this stance. Mthethwa drove the formation of the interim board and has constantly expressed his desire to see them work together with the members’ council to move past the turmoil and chaos of the last year.
Any intervention from Mthethwa to take complete control of CSA’s affairs is likely to result in a suspension from the ICC, who are constitutionally bound to exclude any member from international competition and seize funding, should the country’s government intervene in the running of the game.
At this point that’s a risk worth taking and the short-term damage may be offset by the long-term gains.
CSA is desperately trying to retain power and will do so at the game’s expense because it’s shown itself incapable incapable of running cricket with anywhere near the degree of competence demanded from an elite sporting body.
I’m not suggesting the interim board has all the answers. I am asserting that CSA does not, as evidenced by its track record of stumbling from the one public gaff to another.
I hope when Mthethwa speaks on this matter it will include an ultimatum to the members’ council to comply or face being completely sidelined from this process. It’s been given enough chances to remedy this dire situation.