Cricket South Africa take a positive step, says Saca President
CAPE TOWN - The winds of positive change are finally blowing through South African cricket, according to SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca) president Omphile Ramela.
The former Cape Cobras and Highveld Lions batsman was referring to Cricket SA acting president Beresford Williams tendering his resignation yesterday.
Williams was joined by four other non-independent board members Angelo Carolissen (Boland Cricket Union), Tebogo Siko (Northerns Cricket Union), John Mogodi (Limpopo Impala Cricket) and Donavan May (Eastern Province Cricket) along with independent director Dheven Dharmalingam.
Free State’s Zola Thamae is the only non-independent director still on the Board, while the remaining independent directors are Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw, Marius Schoeman, Vuyokazi Memani-Sedile. Mogodi and Siko will, though, continue to serve on the Members Council.
Northern Cape’s Rihan Richards had been appointed acting president of the Members’ Council.
Saca have been staunch critics of the CSA Board in the recent past, having clearly stated that they no longer have confidence in the Board to lead the organisation.
They have called for an entire cleanout and suggested 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.
“This is a positive step,” Ramela told Independent Media.
“It has taken a while to get here, but it’s a critical moment. The winds of positive change are finally blowing through South African cricket.
“There is now the opportunity to set up an interim structure with people who have the necessary corporate experience to understand the revenue models of international cricket. ‘Independent’ directors do not mean people from outside of cricket altogether. The game has changed at an international and domestic level at a rapid rate. We need people who can manage this change. People who understand the transformation project from grassroots level all the way to the top. We need people who understand the landscape. People have tried to do good but it has been challenging for them,” he added.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa may last week have approved the incoming England tour scheduled for next month, but there was no let up in terms of him still setting CSA a deadline of tomorrow to make written a representation of why the ministry should not intervene in the body’s affairs after months of discussions.
Mthethwa had previously requested the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), who oversee sport in the country, to deal with CSA.
Sascoc’s board suggested a task team be put together, but the plan did not materialise after Sascoc representatives refused to sign NDAs requested by CSA ahead of viewing the Fundudzi Forensic Services report.
It was due to this stalemate that Mthethwa made it clear that the government had also given the International Cricket Council (ICC) notice of its intention to intervene, which could have led to South African cricket teams being barred from international tournaments.
It is for this reason that Ramela was pleased that progress had been made and that the Proteas could now look forward to preparing for Eoin Morgan’s world champions arrival with greater clarity.
“From a players’ of point of view, it is hugely encouraging. They can now look forward to the season in a positive light. The players had early made their feelings public regarding the administration but they can now focus on just playing cricket again.”