Johannesburg – The SA Cricketers' Association (SACA) said on Friday that Cricket SA (CSA) was undermining acting CEO Jacques Faul, and elite players in the country were “sick and tired” of in-fighting at administrative level.
Faul tendered his resignation on Thursday, only four months after replacing embattled CSA CEO Gerald Majola.
“Saca urges the board of CSA to lead cricket in South Africa and to support, rather than undermine, CSA's acting chief executive Jacques Faul in efforts to return cricket back to its rightful status as a national sport which everyone can be proud of,” the players' association said in a statement.
Saca CEO Tony Irish said the players had resisted being drawn into the controversies which had surrounded the game for the last two years.
“More recently we felt strongly that cricket had started to turn the corner following the intervention, the Nicholson Inquiry and the appointment of an acting president and an acting CEO.
“We simply cannot afford another major controversy in the game.”
Elite players in South Africa believed the sport was again receiving negative publicity, at a crucial time for the national team, and urged administrators to resolve their issues.
“We have spoken to the senior players both in the Proteas team and in the franchise teams and the overwhelming feeling from the players is that they are sick and tired of the politics, the in-fighting and the fact that cricket is once again in the news for the wrong reasons,” Irish said.
“This is all happening as our national team embarks on an important tour of England and a crucially important season which could see them established as the best team in the world in all formats of the game.”
Irish believed there were “good people” involved in cricket administration, but some individuals were disrupting progress.
“The players are expected to apply the highest possible standards on the field of play,” he said.
“They expect the same from their administrators off the field.
“We all want the administration of cricket to be in the best hands possible and all of the cricket loving people of South Africa also deserve that.”
Faul said earlier he did not wish to cause dispute within the board, despite handing in his resignation only weeks away from the next annual general meeting.
“If my presence divides the board, then maybe I shouldn't be there,” Faul said.
“I don't want to be an area of dispute and I felt my involvement would make it difficult with the process going forward.”
Faul made it clear he did not wish to hold the CSA board to ransom, after they asked him to reconsider his decision, and insisted he had the best interests of the game at heart.
CSA spokesman Altaaf Kazi said Faul had agreed to rethink his decision to resign.
“It's not an ultimatum,” Faul stressed, when asked if he would change his mind.
“We have to work out a way to go forward together and work out where the board stops and where operations start.
“We need to decide on what is policy and we've got to agree on it.”
Faul took office in an acting capacity after Majola was suspended in March for failing to declare R4.7 million in bonuses paid to CSA staff without clearance from the board or the remuneration committee.
“Things have improved over the last few months,” Faul said.
“We signed a big sponsor Ä Momentum Ä which we hadn't done for a while, and we brought stability to media reporting.
“But something big was always going to erupt in a difficult situation for the board.
“It was never going to be easy moving from one structure to another in a short space of time, and I understand it's also difficult for them working with an acting CEO and an acting president.
“So it's an environment where there is always going to be some friction.” – Sapa