Surprise win for Proteas a welcome diversion from fiasco in Cricket SA

2011-10-19 00:00

THE second T20 international between South Africa and Australia on Sunday proved to be an unexpected nail-biter in the end and a welcome diversion from the sorry state of the affairs of Cricket South Africa (CSA).

The Proteas secured a three-wicket victory at the Wanderers thanks largely to a gutsy lower order fight-back by unlikely batting heroes — Wayne Parnell and Rusty Theron.

Their partnership of 64 off just 27 balls took the game away from Australia, who looked certain to win after Heino Kuhn was caught and bowled by Patttinson in the 15th over, leaving South Africa reeling on 84-7.

Watching the Proteas fight to the end to level the T20 series provided a 40-over respite from the confounding goings-on in Cricket SA.

On Saturday Mtutuzeli Nyoka was axed for the second time after his reinstatement as CSA president in February following a high court ruling.

A.K. Khan was appointed as acting president and admitted in a press conference that CSA may have erred on a few technical procedures.

He was quick to make it clear that without Nyoka at the helm the sport could finally move forward.

Not so fast was the response from Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, who has called for an investigation into the recommendations made by KPMG into bonuses paid to CSA chief executive Gerald Majola and other staff after the hosting of the Indian Premier League and ICC Champions Trophy in 2009.

The audit was conducted after repeated calls by Nyoka for an independent inquiry into CSA’s finances.

After KPMG completed its audit it was confirmed that the non-disclosure of bonus payments was in contravention of the Companies Act.

CSA’s response was nothing more than a slap with a handbag for Majola.

It is clear that there are definite agendas on the CSA board and that there is no love lost between Majola and Nyoka.

Mbalula’s intention to root out corruption in all sport is commendable and brave, considering he has already been on the receiving end of threatening phone calls.

He has vowed that he will resign his position as sports minister if he is prevented from making a complete investigation into the findings of the KPMG audit.

Mbalula is expected to announce the name of a retired judge who will head the committee this week.

The sports minister is right to get to the bottom of this fiasco as soon as possible and to make sure that there is accountability and transparency in all of CSA’s dealings.

CSA has failed to send a clear message to its players and cricket-loving public — who naturally assume that where there is smoke there is fire.

Spare a thought for Gary Kirsten, who must be finding the ongoing discontent frustrating and embarrassing.

The ODIs will be a new challenge for Kirsten with Australian stalwarts like Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Mike Hussey back in the fray.

The Proteas will be bolstered by Jacques Kallis and the return of Mark Boucher for the injured AB de Villiers.

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