Cricket SA has ‘one chance’

2013-02-17 10:00

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Cricket SA (CSA) administration has only one chance to put cricket on the right track, newly elected president Chris Nenzani has told City Press.

The former Border Cricket Board president was elected unopposed at the organisation’s long-delayed annual general meeting two weeks ago.

He replaced Dr Willie Basson, who was in an acting capacity.

“The board needs to hit the ground running and provide leadership, change the culture and renew the organisation,” said Nenzani.

“If we can stabilise our administration by appointing a permanent chief executive officer, our road map will be clearer. We only have one chance to make it right. We want to make sure that when we do so there are no comebacks.”

The administrator who rose through the ranks of Border cricket from being a school’s cricket chairperson to president in 10 years, said cricket is ready to be run by independent board members.

With the majority of South Africa’s sporting codes being run by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), the ­­­ 48-year-old said cricket’s trial run with an independent board could be a turning point in how sports are run.

“Cricket is going into this new realm of sporting administration and we are aware it is a departure from what was the case,” Nenzani said.

“We hope that this experience will go to show other sporting organisations that this route can be undertaken. If it doesn’t succeed, it is going to say to the others that this is not the route that is supposed to be taken in the first place. We hope to make it succeed.”

Sascoc had a peripheral role to play in retired Judge Chris Nicholson’s committee of inquiry into CSA’s affairs.

One of its recommendations was that the organisation be run by independents with no ties to the sport.

Sascoc’s stance towards such a body was hostile, but Nenzani said CSA would never be a law unto itself if it was wholly run by an independent board.

“Our relationship with Sascoc is controlled by statutes. Inasmuch as we are members, we are autonomous members who can take their own decisions. I don’t think it’s within Sascoc’s desire to take decisions for cricket,” he said.

“It’s not an issue of competing with Sascoc but if this model works, it might give them an idea of looking at the model and seeing if they can expand on it.

The big question here is are we going to succeed I think we have no choice.”

The Bhisho High School history teacher, who has been teaching for 23 years, has his roots established in developmental cricket.

Coming from the hub of African cricket, transformation is another thorny issue the board needs to grapple with and Nenzani says CSA already has its policies on this matter.

“There needs to be an emphasis on the policies and implementation. Space needs to be created for players and officials and, in doing so, there will be a creation of a transformed and truly national team,” said Nenzani.

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