Thabang Moroe must fall, says Mark Keohane. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - Cricket South Africa’s administration is in free-fall and the sport’s primary commercial investors, the sponsors, have to insist on a leadership change for continued financial support.

The national governing body’s chief executive Thabang Moroe is an embarrassment to the game, a law unto himself and out of his depth. He has to go.

His actions this past week in attempting to muzzle cricket writers through stripping them of official accreditation and then calling it a “mishap” was cringeworthy.

His apology to the respective writers and media house editors was equally pathetic, and his last-minute cancelling of a media briefing, which was to address the state of the game’s administration, was another example of his lack of leadership.

Former South African cricket boss Ali Bacher urged Moroe to step down. Bacher described South Africa as currently being “the joke of world cricket”, and described Moroe as incompetent.Moroe is a man behaving like a petulant child without adult supervision. Cricket South Africa’s only way forward is with an adult in charge, not man-child.

There has to be accountability for Moroe’s plunging Cricket South Africa into such crisis, only a fortnight before the biggest of Test series against England, which will be followed by the ODI series against the world champions.

The country’s cricketers are aghast at what has played out at Cricket South Africa’s headquarters. Two of the independent board members have resigned because they refuse to work alongside such incompetence and nonchalance when it comes to corporate governance.

The chairperson of the Finance Committee, Iqbal Khan, addressed all his concerns in his resignation letter. He cited “abuse of the credit card” as one of the damning indictments, which show no one is in charge at Cricket South Africa.

The National team sponsor Standard Bank and the South African Cricketers’ Association have publicly expressed their dissatisfaction of Moroe, but words alone won’t fix the mess. Moroe should not be allowed to survive, and the sponsor and Cricketers’ Association has an obligation to the game to demand he goes or that there is no cricket against England this summer.

It must take drastic action or the threat of this drastic action for Cricket South Africa’s Board to see the light and dim the lights of Moroe’s tenure as chief executive.

Moroe was officially appointed chief executive on July 16, 2018, after acting in that position the preceding 12 months. He oversaw the shambles that was the Mzansi Super League (MSL) initially being postponed because SuperSport would not commit to being an equity partner. This, despite Moroe publicly announcing SuperSport as broadcaster and equity partner.

In August, 2018, Sunfoil pulled out as the sponsor of the four-day domestic competition and of Test cricket in this country. The next month, Momentum pulled out as the title sponsor of the women’s side.

Castle Lager, as they have done so often in South African sport, stepped in as a headline sponsor for last summer’s Test matches in South Africa.

CSA in September declared a loss of R200 million, but still Moroe’s leadership was defended by CSA president Chris Nenzani. How?

Senior employees who have questioned Moroe have been suspended, and Board members who speak out have been told to shut up or get out.

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith recently released a statement, saying he did not want to be considered for the role of Director of Cricket because of his lack of faith in the competency of CSA’s leadership.

No individual is bigger than the game and Moroe’s arrogance, coupled with his ignorance, demands that he must be dismissed.

@mark_keohane

Keohane is an award-winning sports writer and a regular contributor to Independent Media sport