Kaymo’s Korner: CSA’s back is broken from bending over at the ICC’s altar

2014-02-18 10:00

Whenever cricketing deals are made, one person comes to mind: the late, great Kerry Packer, who shook the cricketing world so vigorously it is rather difficult to imagine what the game would be like today if he did not have the courage to wake the administrators from their centuries-long slumber.

His World Series Cricket revolution was for the good of the game. He made those who run the game name their price and brought out the whores in them.

This leads me to ask: how much of its soul did Cricket SA (CSA) sell for it to vote for the revamp of the International Cricket Council (ICC)?

My estimation is that CSA broke its back bending in front of the cricketing altar and melted like chocolate in a pocket on a hot day. With the Indian Premier League yet to find a home this year, that could have been one of the biggest carrots. But let’s not forget what happened in its aftermath when South Africa last hosted it.

The way in which Packer conducted himself back in 1977 showed how morals and money cannot be put in the same room.

At that point in time, players were underpaid and it was only board members who laughed their way to the bank. But that has all changed.

After what can only be termed a sellout at last week’s ICC meeting, history will not judge CSA very well – not that CSA’s recent history has been anything worth writing home about.

While it may come as a shock, what CSA president Chris Nenzani and CEO Haroon Lorgat did in Singapore was in CSA’s “best interests”.

How “best” that is will remain to be seen, but one wonders how the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Sri Lanka

Cricket feel about the cop-out. These were bosom buddies in standing against the revamp but the little that I know about politics, in any sphere, is that there are no permanent friends.

Where there is money involved, I have seen even the best of friends hold knives at each others’ necks. That’s the greenback effect – where there is money involved, morals will take a hike.

The manner in which CSA has tried to position itself after the Gerald Majola kickback scandal – taking the moral high ground in standing for transparency, good governance and independent thinking – has all but disappeared.

It is rather sad that the wide and curvy road to cosy up to the big three was taken. But to save itself financially, CSA had to do it.

The ducking and diving around the issue has been galling to watch and has given credence to the claim they have sold out. The now ousted PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf made his feelings known but it is the big three who makes CSA’s bed.

CSA’s interests and those of the general public will be different and to keep its house in order, it will have to follow its head and not the public’s heart.

What won’t change is the fact that it took the public for a ride and after doing its best to clean its image after Majolagate, it is back to square one. To CSA, a safe financial future is a priority and not something as trivial as morals or fighting for what’s right.

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