JOHANNESBURG – Cricket SA’s chief executive Thabang Moroe acknowledged on Tuesday that the organisation had broken the trust of owners signed up to the T20 Global League.
Moroe, who was made CSA’s permanent CEO on Monday night following eight months acting in the position, said he would seek urgent talks with owners, who had expressed their disgust with the manner in which CSA had dealt with the postponement of the competition.
In addition to poor communication the owners also highlighted how they had been omitted from talks about reviving the competition, with CSA only talking to broadcaster SuperSport - with whom they’ve formed a partnership to run a new T20 tournament - while the owners also stated that they would look at legal avenues to retrieve lost finances.
“There are definitely issues regarding trust (with the previous owners). The only way to bridge that gap is to sit down face to face,” said Moroe. “The problem has been the fact that they are so far away and to be honest we have not availed ourselves to sit down with them and sort out the issues because we’ve had to work on the T20 and on SACA negotiations.”
Moroe has indeed faced a busy period as interim CEO with much of his time occupied by the protracted negotiations with the players union - the SA Cricketers Association - over a new Memorandum of Understanding, while CSA’s Board of Directors also wanted him to revive the T20GL following its collapse last October.
While CSA did reach an agreement with SuperSport regarding the re-establishment of the competition, the former owners were left out, with some even saying they had been completely cut out although they remained interested in partnering with the new tournament.
“I haven’t had the time to go out there and visit all the countries and address the issues with the owners, but it’s something I plan to do now,” said Moroe.
Cricket SA has written to all the previous owners and wants to set up a date where they can all meet, something made difficult because they are spread far and wide.
Nevertheless Moroe said he hoped to meet some of the owners in the next fortnight in Dubai and Mumbai.
SuperSport and Cricket SA have already settled on a broadcast deal - the major hurdle that CSA failed to overcome previously - while “expressions of interest“ will be sent to some players at the end of the month, and a title sponsor is in the pipeline.
The T20 competition is all set to go ahead this summer, regardless of any potential court cases.
“From a management point of view we are sticking to our timelines, so until the Board says anything different, we are sticking to the timeline,” Moroe insisted. “Nothing is stopping us until the powers that be tell us to hold. We want to deliver this thing this year.”
“Our stance with SuperSport is clear; we want to work this thing from the ground up, we want to build it up, build a certain level of value into the league so that when the opportunity comes, whether that be selling our ownership of the league or equity by means of purchasing teams, then we know what we are selling and the right value. Over and above that we will know how people will make their money.”
Moroe left the door open for the former owners to get involved with the tournament again.
“Until we get to that position of comfort, knowing exactly how much it is going to cost to run a team, how much you’ll get from sponsorship, what you pay for stadium hosting and how much must be given to Cricket SA as a licence...should we get to that point, we will be looking to sell equity in teams and we will be looking to get the owners involved.”
Moroe’s contract is for three years.