What did CSA get?

2014-02-09 10:00

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Cricket South Africa has sold its soul to the devil for a pittance.

The organisation, which had the most to lose in the proposed governance changes in the International Cricket Council (ICC), yesterday voted for the fundamental changes proposed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), Cricket Australia (CA) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in terms of how the organisation is run.

South Africa last hosted an ICC event with the 2009 Champions Trophy in September, which was followed by an England test tour later that year.

With South Africa hosting a dearth of ICC events until the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, hosting the tournament could have been the carrot that would have persuaded CSA to vote for the proposal.

CSA contested the original position paper, which City Press is in possession of, at the quarterly meeting in Dubai two weeks ago.

ESPNcricinfo.com also ran a report saying that CSA and BCCI could patch up their Haroon Lorgat bust-up if they voted for the revamp.

CSA denied this, saying it would compromise the entity’s principles. The CSA, with the Pakistan Cricket Board and Sri Lanka Cricket, provided staunch opposition to the proposal.

However, when voting time arrived yesterday, CSA endorsed the proposal while the other two abstained.

A CSA insider said its representatives at the meeting, president Chris Nenzani and chief executive Haroon Lorgat, were given free rein to make a decision that would be in the best interests of cricket.

In a statement, Nenzani said the proposal was a work in progress and was not permanent.

He said: “What is equally important is that this is only a transitional arrangement.

“From 2016, there will be fully democratic elections for all the governing positions in the ICC including the chairpersons of the board and the other committees.

“There will be no restrictions in this regard and this must be seen as the key component in our determination to stay true to the best principles of democracy and good corporate governance.

The insider said: “I don’t think they were browbeaten into making any decisions.

“The big three are bullies, especially with their deep pockets and it’s hard to make any headway with the kind of money they had. They were given an open mandate to negotiate and make a decision that will be for the good of the game.”

The scrapping of the 2017 Test Championship, which was touted in the original “position paper” also bore fruit and will see the return of the Champions Trophy in 2017 and 2021.

If England and India stick to their scheduled tours of 2015/16 and 2017/18 despite the Future Tours Programme (FTP) falling by the wayside, the current struggles could end up being a windfall in years to come.

CSA was not part of the original test match fund which will help struggling nations make the long form of cricket count financially.

The FTP will be replaced by bilateral tour agreements between nations, which means teams will play their preferred opponents when it suits them.

According to the ICC press release, all nations – except for the Big Three – have been included, which means CSA will get a share of the loot.

With the Big Three needing eight out of 10 votes for the proposal to be pushed through, CSA’s vote was the big game- changer.

The financially crippled West Indies Cricket Board with the broke Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), were always part of the money bandwagon and were always going to vote for the proposal.

While the West Indies were intent on securing their financial future, ZC and the BCB, while on the fiscal back foot, were more worried about their test futures.

One of the key proposals on the “position paper” was a promotion/relegation of the two bottom-placed test sides on the ICC test rankings.

New Zealand cricket, under the stewardship of Martin Snedden, was the first full member to voice its support for the changes.

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are the two worst-performing test countries and they were going to suffer if they had not been able to secure their test status.

However, their safety is not totally guaranteed as one of the elements pushed through is that the winner of the­ Intercontinental Cup will face the bottom-placed test team,

That could see Bangladesh having to face off with Ireland if the status quo does not change.

The proposal now sees BCCI chairperson Narayanswami Srinivasan getting the coveted ICC chairperson role while his CA counterpart, Wally Edwards, will head the newly formed executive committee, which will report to the ICC board.

ECB head honcho Giles Clarke will retain his position as the head of the financial and commercial affairs committee.

The newly created positions will be assumed on July 1.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s spokesperson Paena Galane yesterday said: “There is still a pending meeting between CSA and the department where we will get a full picture on international and domestic activities.

“We are hopeful that all was done in the best interests of cricket in the country.”

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