The Nicholson recommendations was a clear roadmap for CSA, suggests interim chief Jacques Faul. Photo: BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa won’t have to look very far for an administrative structure to run the sport once the fall-out from various reviews that will start in the new year are concluded. 

“Nicholson was a clear roadmap for us, people were happy. We were introducing a great new governing system. Looking back, maybe we should have implemented Nicholson as he’d recommended,” CSA’s interim chief executive Jacques Faul said this week.

Faul, who was seconded to CSA following the suspension of Thabang Moroe two weeks ago, has described Cricket SA as being in a crisis and that he was very concerned about the organisation’s financial state.

With an independent forensic audit set to take place in early January and yet another management review also in the offing, Cricket SA’s administrative future looks very uncertain. The boards of Western Province, Eastern Province, Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal have called for Cricket SA president, Chris Nenzani, the vice-president Beresford Williams and the remaining members of CSA’s Board of Directors to resign. The management review which is set to interrogate all of CSA’s administrative structures may eventually see that occur. 

But what then? Faul feels that Cricket SA could return to what Judge Chris Nicholson recommended in 2012 following his Commission of Inquiry into the ‘bonus scandal,’ which that year lead to Gerald Majola being sacked as CEO.

Nicholson had recommended a smaller board, made up of what he termed nine non-independent directors, basically individuals with expertise from various fields including; marketing, accountancy and law. They would be able to provide a more worldly perspective and provide guidance for the organisation at a time when how sports was being administered had to change and be more in keeping with modern methods. 

Jacques Faul feels that Cricket SA could return to what Judge Chris Nicholson recommended in 2012 following his Commission of Inquiry. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/ BackpagePix

Back in 2012 however Cricket SA’s leadership felt there needed to be a better balance between those directors from outside of the sport itself, and administrators very much attached to the sport - like provincial presidents. A six-six split was initially agreed but that was quickly dismissed in favour of a seven-five split, in favour of provincial presidents. 

“We did try to introduce six-six with an independent chairperson, but that wasn’t palatable to Sascoc at the time and we went 7-5; that led to two tiers with seven people serving on the Board and the Members Council. And when you look at it now, that is what has become problematic,” said Faul.

Indeed Sascoc’s intervention in 2013 was the very opposite of what Cricket SA needed, which makes it incredibly strange that the Sports Minister, Nathi Mthethwa would advise CSA’s current leadership to engage with Sascoc about its management review. That is the same Sascoc which was last year the subject of a Commission of Inquiry into its governance and the same Sascoc that has failed to implement all of the recommendations made in a report following that inquiry. 

Cricket SA would do well to steer clear of Sascoc, conduct the forensic audit and managerial review - both of which will be independent - and thus illustrate clearly to stakeholders; the players, sponsors and the South African public, that it has now, finally learned its lesson.

When they do set out on the path to recovery, Nicholson’s recommendations must be implemented.



IOL Sport

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