South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) chief Andrew Breetzke. Photo: Ross Jansen
South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) chief Andrew Breetzke. Photo: Ross Jansen

Cricketers’ Association calls for Cricket SA board to step aside

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Oct 14, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - The South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) has stated that Cricket SA's executive board "has no credibility to resolve the crises" and should step down immediately.

SACA's strong sentiments, conveyed in a press statement released on Wednesday, follows on from Minister of Sports, Art and Culture (DSAC), Minister Nathi Mthethwa's notice advising possible government intervention in Cricket SA's affairs.

Mthethwa's action comes after CSA and the Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the umbrella-body under which all the South Africa's sports federations operate, reached an impasse after weeks of negotiations. Intially CSA were only willing to hand over the much-hyped Fundudzi Report should SASCOC board members sign a non-disclosure agreement.

SASCOC refused those terms and conditions.

CSA eventually made the full report available to the parliamentary portfolio committee last Friday, which was discussed at length in a four-hour long meeting on Tuesday.

SACA have requested an interim Board which would include a SACA player’s representative to take over CSA's affairs and that an "experienced" administrator should be appointed to provide the link between operations and the Board.

“Cricket is in an existential crisis, and the intervention of Government will result in the International Cricket Council (ICC) reviewing CSA’s position as an ICC Member, and will furthermore jeopardise the England Tour scheduled for next month. Players will suffer, development will suffer and the future of the game will be prejudiced," said SACA chief Andrew Breetzke.

"However, as has been recognised by DSAC and SASCOC, the current Board has no credibility to resolve the crises, and it is clear that the current impasse between Government and CSA will not be resolved until such time as the Board stands down.”

“We therefore implore the CSA Board to stand down and thereby take a decision that will be in the best interests of cricket,” added Breetzke.

Cricket SA have submitted plans to government seeking its approval to host the England's Men's team for three ODI's and three T20I's from late November through to early December. A bio-secure environment has propositioned which will see both teams staying at the Vineyard Hotel in Cape Town. Training sessions will be held at the Vineyard Cricket Oval opposite to the hotel with the matches set to be played at Newlands Stadium and Boland Park.

The English Cricket Board has also offered to offset some of Cricket SA's costs by shipping over unused PPE equipment and testing materials from their bio-bubble series against West Indies, Pakistan and Australia earlier this year.

Cricket SA stressed the importance of the incoming England tour on Tuesday, virtually pleading with government to give it the green light.

"If we don't start playing cricket, this organisation will be in trouble," said CSA independent director Dheven Dharmalingam. "It is of critical importance. Forty percent of CSA's revenue goes to development."

The ICC's constitution prohibits government intervention with the worst case scenario seeing the Proteas barred from ICC events. It seems highly unlikely at this initial stage though after the ICC acknowledged Mthethwa's letter and advised the two parties to "work together" to formulate a plan going forward.

“The ICC has received a letter from the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture in South Africa giving notice of potential intervention into the matters of Cricket South Africa," the ICC statement said. "At this stage, no complaint has been received from Cricket South Africa regarding government intervention and Members are encouraged to resolve matters directly with their governments.”

“We will continue to monitor the situation.”

@ZaahierAdams

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