At the end of Saturday afternoon’s press conference held by Cricket South Africa, the message to everyone who cares about the sport in this country was clear: The mess cricket finds itself in is the fault of one man, and one man only - Thabang Moroe.
There is no-one else to blame. At least that’s if you’re listening to CSA president Chris Nenzani. That is the same Chris Nenzani who Moroe helped to “fix” the constitution of South African cricket so that Nenzani could get another year as the organisation’s president.
Sitting to Nenzani’s far left on Saturday was Zola Thamae, president of the Free State Cricket Union, on Nenzani’s immediate left sat Beresford Williams, CSA’s vice-president.
At various stages Nenzani turned to them on Saturday and asked them to speak. They refused. Rather, they let Nenzani attempt a shambolic piece of spin.
No, the Board of Directors - the nine that remain - are not complicit in the crisis in which the sport has found itself in the last 12 months. Yes, the Board was taking responsibility, in the form of holding a press conference.
It was ridiculous. It was pitiful. How can the players ever trust this Board of Directors? How can sponsors? How can the South African public? In Nenzani, Williams, Thamae, Jack Madiseng, Tebogo Siko, Donovan May, Angelo Carolissen, Steve Cornelius and Marius Schoeman, Cricket SA has a Board of Directors who were complicit in events that has created a chasm between the players and the sport’s mother body, they are complicit in Standard Bank’s decision to not renew its sponsorship of the sport, they are complicit in allowing CSA to get dragged into court - twice - with one of those cases already lost.
How do we know they are complicit? Because one of them said so last week in a private letter sent to Nenzani and Williams.
Madiseng is no saint and his nauseating opportunism should be seen for what it is - but in that letter he addressed to the president and the vice-president of Cricket South Africa, Madiseng, clearly spells out exactly why this Board of Directors is complicit for all the problems that have befallen the sport lately.
“Our brand is in a mess,” Madiseng wrote in the letter dated November 29, “and your lack/poor leadership has misled the public to think that we as the Board has fully empowered the CEO (Thabang Moroe) to independently make all decisions, which is wrong.” The last three words, are typed in bold and underlined.
Madiseng lists a handful of issues where he feels the Board left Moroe hanging out to dry including; the appointment of a Director of Cricket, the restructuring of the domestic programme which upset the SA Cricketers Association, the Western Province Cricket Association saga and the suspension of Corrie van Zyl, Nassei Appiah and Clive Eksteen.
And then Madiseng offers the opinion that it is the Board that is accountable and not the now suspended Moroe. “If someone had to be fired/dismissed, in all honesty, the “entire board” should be fired/dissolved for “rubbishing” the CSA brand.” Again the last 12 letters are typed in bold and underlined.
What the Board is hoping is that by appointing Jacques Faul in the role of interim CEO and (hopefully) getting Graeme Smith to agree to be Director of Cricket that then England’s arrival here for a high profile summer series will be a distraction. The South African public may stop thinking about the administrative politics. That shouldn’t be allowed to happen.
This Board, chaired by Nenzani is responsible for the worst administrative fiasco in the post isolation era.
Yes, even worse than Gerald Majola illegitimately paying himself and staff members bonuses over 10 years ago.
This Board has failed cricket. It needs to be dismissed, immediately.