Stuart Hess.
Stuart Hess.

This pettiness in the Cricket South Africa saga must end

By Stuart Hess Time of article published Mar 25, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG - Too much time has been spent writing, listening, talking and even analysing Cricket South Africa’s Members’ Council.

Sports administrators do not deserve that amount of airtime. That’s not to say the rest of the world doesn’t concern itself with what sports administrators are up to; Pakistan, India, West Indies are all countries where administrative politics is often in the news. In the West Indies it’s understandable – that’s a team comprising 15 different countries and territories. Pakistan is rife with regional politics, and so is India.

But Cricket SA’s politics is different, mainly because it’s so rife with incompetence. I’ve had Members’ Council representatives tell me I’m harsh for making that kind of insult. But how else to explain it when an organisation makes the likes of Fikile Mbalula and Nathi Mthethwa look good.

Mbalula wanted Beyonce to be a headline act at the SA Sports Awards 10 years ago. And CSA made him look like a saviour when he appointed a commission of inquiry to interrogate the organisation's administration. Then CSA ignored the recommendations made by that inquiry.

ALSO READ: Cricket South Africa tests Nathi Mthethwa’s patience again

This country’s artists want Mthethwa fired, so befuddling has his handling of Covid-19 grants for artists been. And yet it is Mthethwa who is looking like the good guy in this whole mess that CSA continues to find itself in, because he’s appointed an Interim Board after patiently waiting for CSA to sort itself out, and he got the Members’ Council to agree that the Interim Board’s advice would be adhered to, yet that Members’ Council (the 14 provincial presidents) is now going, ‘no we don’t want that’.

Every day that passes without some semblance of stability emerging at CSA is incredibly costly to the sport. CSA needs to be looking forward, strategising for how to put itself in a position where it is doing more than just barely keeping its head above water, as is the case currently.

It has been said and written plenty of times before, but it bears repeating; the rest of the cricket world is forging ahead with schedules and plans of its own and in many cases South Africa doesn’t form part of those plans. The men’s Proteas side right now is not a viable financial option for other teams as an opponent, because the team’s performances have slipped enormously in the last three years – much of that down to administrative ineptitude.

Moaning in meetings about having a majority of independent directors on the new board of

CSA is not helping the Proteas, which remains the primary money-maker for SA cricket.

The Members’ Council – specially those eight presidents who voted to retain the status quo as far as the composition of the next board is concerned – need to drastically reconsider their decision.

CSA’s administrators have wasted enough time and money over the last few years, leaving the sport on its knees. There is no more time to waste on this pettiness, because there’s a real chance there’ll be no sport for them to administer very soon.

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