21.03.2012.Acting Cricket South Africa president Willie Basson responds to questions on the way forward for South African cricket following the findings of the Judge Nicholson Enquiry Picture : Sizwe Ndingane

Cricket South Africa’s board of directors put the organisation’s administrative reforms into reverse yesterday, creating great distance between themselves and Judge Chris Nicholson’s recommendations made last year.

Instead of a sleeker board, comprising a balance between directors with expertise outside of cricket and administrators familiar with the demands of the sport locally, the decisions made at the special meeting of the current board yesterday agreed to a new board, which will eventually total 16 – just three fewer than the current structure.

In his report into the game’s administration last year following his inquiry which led to the suspension of CSA chief executive Gerald Majola, Nicholson recommended an 11-member board which should include nine non-executive independent members.

Cricket SA, after initially agreeing with Nicholson’s recommendations, thought a better fit for the organisation would be a 5-5 split – with five independents, five non-independents – and a chief executive, which makes up an 11-member Board.

Yesterday it was decided, however, that an interim board consisting of five independent directors and seven non-independents would serve for 18 months, after which a further four directors would be added, two independent and two non-independent.

The outcome is certainly a victory for the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), which is vehemently opposed to a balance between independents and non-independents.

Sascoc’s constant refrain has been that “sport must be run by sports people”, a statement that stood in stark contrast to Nicholson’s findings about professional sports administration needing experts from the legal fraternity and business community.

It is in keeping with Sascoc’s demands for their affiliates that CSA have to increase the size of their board as the Olympic body require all nine provincial areas to be represented at senior administrative level.

Cricket SA also adhered to Sascoc’s policy that the board’s new chairperson must come from the non-independents. The chairperson will also be the president of Cricket SA.

Meanwhile, one of the independent directors will be appointed “Lead Director” to guide the chairperson.

Yesterday’s meeting also agreed that Norman Arendse would be among the candidates recommended as an independent director when the AGM takes place on February 2.

Arendse’s name was initially not among five independent candidates CSA announced last October and he successfully approached Sascoc arguing he’d been unfairly ignored.

Cricket SA’s members forum will elect the new board at the AGM with each candidate needing more than 50percent of the votes to be successful.

The board will also select the organisation’s new chief executive after the AGM.

The players union, the SA Cricketers Association, which has lodged a dispute with CSA at the CCMA, was largely satisfied with the outcome.

“We were expecting a 7-5 split, which was always going to happen to satisfy Sascoc’s demands,” said Saca chief executive Tony Irish.

Saca’s executive will meet in the next few days to discuss the decisions reached yesterday.

There were some heated exchanges about the lack of black African representation in the national Test team following Thami Tsolekile’s claims three weeks ago that he’d been promised a spot in the side for the New Zealand series.

Andrew Hudson, the national selection convener, had to explain his panel’s decision regarding Tsolekile’sabsence from the squad to the board. “The urgent need to improve representation of black Africans at all levels from school/club through to franchises and on to national level was stressed as an imperative,” CSA said in a statement. - The Star