Cricket SA accepts responsibility for the mess the sport is in

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Xolani Koyana

CRICKET SA has admitted that the sport’s administration is in a mess and accepted responsibility for the problems plaguing the cricket board in the past two years.

CSA acting chief executive Jacques Faul and Border Cricket president Chris Nenzani appeared before the National Assembly’s portfolio committee on sports and recreation yesterday to speak on progress made on recommendations made by retired Judge Chris Nicholson.

CSA has been rebuilding its reputation after Gerald Majola’s suspension in March following a bonus scandal.

Judge Nicholson said Majola had breached the Companies Act in awarding himself and several office-bearers bonuses totalling R4.7 million for CSA’s part in hosting the Indian Premier League and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2009.

Nenzani is also a member of an eight-member steering committee selected by CSA and tasked with considering options regarding the new administration. “We want to say to the public: ‘We will fix this mess that we have created.’

“I believe that the board to some extent might have failed to exercise leadership. We have made a commitment to the minister that we believe that we have the desire to pull this through,” Nenzani said.

“If you look at [Judge] Nicholson’s report, it’s pointing to one issue: governance. That kind of situation arises from the fact that you have within CSA structures a lack of oversight in terms of who does what… you also have a board that accounts to itself.”

Among Judge Nicholson’s recommendations was that a new, vastly more independent board of directors be chosen to run CSA's affairs. CSA subsequently appointed an eight-member steering committee to consider options for a new administration.

Faul told the committee they had followed Judge Nicholson’s report, but “our hands are tied” as the report was now being probed by the Hawks.

He said they were recovering bonuses from Majola and former CSA chief operating officer Don McIntosh, but they were aware that the two would refuse.

“Accepting full responsibility for the mistake we have made is the first step. The next step is to get the Majola issue out of the way. We also have to respect that he is only suspended.

“What is important right now is to maintain operations and try to secure sponsorship,” Faul said.

Majola is in a disciplinary process which CSA had hoped would have been wrapped up by the end of May.

Committee chairman Mgolodi Dikgacwi said they were pleased with the progress CSA had made with Judge Nicholson’s recommendations. But he said CSA should have worked through some of the issues still outstanding by its AGM in October. “We can just advise you (on these matters) but when these things are not in place, the committee will have to take [off] its gloves,” Dikgacwi added.

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