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Cricket South Africa’s stand-in chief executive Jacques Faul tendered his resignation yesterday morning, but said interim president Willie Basson and all the Board of Directors have asked him to reconsider.
Faul was appointed to the position following the suspension of Gerald Majola in March in the wake of the findings made by Judge Chris Nicholson regarding the bonus scandal which rocked the sport in 2009.
Faul said last night he felt his position had become untenable because the Board had lost trust in his judgment. “They are stepping in and interfering in operational stuff that really is my job to do. I don’t want to fight my board, but if they don’t trust my judgment, then how can I go on?”
Faul said in the hours following the handing in of the letter, Basson and every member of the Board of Directors had called offering their support. “They’ve asked me to reconsider, and I’ll do so and give my final answer at next Friday’s Board meeting,” Faul remarked.
Cricket SA had slowly started to re-build its reputation following the bonus scandal where Majola was found to have 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.
Majola is currently in the midst of a disciplinary process which was to have been wrapped up by the end of May. Among Nicholson’s recommendations was that a new vastly more independent Board of Directors be chosen to run CSA’s affairs. CSA appointed an eight-member steering committee to interrogate various options regarding the new administration.
Nicholson also recommended that a small team be constructed to look into the make up of the independent directors who must sit on the new board. This has proved to be a major sticking point for the current Board – with several of them understood to be jostling to retain their positions – though Faul was reluctant to say if the “interference” he was encountering was part of that larger political game. “I can’t say if that’s the case. All I know is, I’ve been invited over to Lord’s next month (to watch the third Test between SA and England) and I didn’t want this hanging over me. I can’t be expected to represent Cricket SA if my Board won’t trust me. I’m not in this to get free trips. I care about the game,” Faul added.
Faul was seconded to CSA’s offices from North West Cricket Union and was initially reluctant to take up the position – only doing so after being pushed by NWCU president Archie Pretorius, one of a minority of Board members who sided with former president Mtutuzeli Nyoka in his fight with Majola. Since Faul’s appointment, CSA have slowly started to improve their image particularly with sponsors, with financial giants Momentum signing a long-term deal to sponsor one-day cricket.
“I hope this can be resolved. This shouldn’t be about one person. In fact, there’s a chance that CSA could have its third CEO in the space of 12 months once all the committee work has been completed. It will be that person’s job to further ensure that the organisation’s reputation continues to be held in high regard by the public and potential sponsors.”