CSA Members Council make about-turn on interim board
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JOHANNESBURG - Cricket SA’s Members Council has done a rapid about-turn and will now back the interim board of directors named by Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the end of last month.
Just days after saying they wouldn’t recognised the nine person board, because it would be in breach of the organisation’s Memorandum of Incorporation, the Members Council - made of up the 14 provincial union presidents which is the highest decision making body in the organisation - is understood to be making the necessary plans to amend the MoI to accommodate the nine-member interim board.
It’s a decision that will be welcomed in cricket circles not least among CSA’s staff and the country’s players who have watched on, along with the public, as CSA limped from one crisis to another in the last year.
Mthethwa’s announcement of the new board and the fact that it set about its work quickly was well received and it appeared that attention could finally turn from the boardroom to the field. However last Thursday CSA’s acting president Rihan Richards, said the Council had decided not to work with the board. That drew the ire of Mthethwa who in a strongly-worded letter to Richards said he would invoke the sanctions available to him in the National Sport and Recreation Act, that include revoking recognition of CSA as the mother body of the sport locally, which in turn would remove the Proteas’ status as the country’s official national team.
As it stands the T20 and One-Day International series’s with England will go ahead with the 50-over world champions arriving in Cape Town on Tuesday. But had the Members Council stuck with their decision made last week, the rest of the national men’s team’s schedule for the season, which include Tests against Sri Lanka and Australia at home and a tour to Pakistan would have been in jeopardy.
In addition the International Cricket Council may also have banned CSA, given it frowns upon government interference in national boards. Mthethwa did state that he had kept the ICC abreast of all his decisions regarding CSA in the last few months.
Many within CSA had been taken aback by the speed with which the interim board had started its work as well as the forthright manner in which board members made inquiries. Speaking to the media last week, (CSA interim Board chairman Zac)Yacoob described some of the executive staff at CSA, which includes company secretary Welsh Gwaza and acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender, as being “uncooperative, difficult, unresponsive, arrogant and sometimes rude,” in their interactions with the board.
Mthethwa had mandated the interim Board, which includes former CSA CEO, Haroon Lorgat, to “deal with current governance systems, structures and procedures, including a proper consideration of the Nicholson recommendations; consider the Fundudzi report, its implications and consequences for CSA and to take any actions recommended in the report itself or actions that the interim Board deems appropriate; review all Board decisions taken since 2019 and to report on those decisions that require the attention of the Members Council and to generally do whatever is necessary and appropriate in order to restore the integrity and reputation of CSA.”