How Jacques Faul plans to fix Cricket SA’s problems

Titans boss Jacques Faul has agreed to step in at Cricket SA (CSA).
Titans boss Jacques Faul has agreed to step in at Cricket SA (CSA).

Titans CEO Jacques Faul has agreed to step into the breach in the aftermath of the turmoil at Cricket SA

With former Proteas wicketkeeper and International Cricket Council chief executive officer (CEO) Dave Richardson having turned down Cricket SA’s request for him to be acting CEO while Thabang Moroe is suspended, Titans boss Jacques Faul has agreed to step in at Cricket SA (CSA).

Faul agreed to the acting role after telling City Press how he would attempt to fix the burning issues in the sport.

How will you resolve the issue of appointing a director of cricket?

[Former Proteas captain] Graeme Smith’s concerns are credible in that he wants a chief executive who’ll give him a reasonable mandate. The moment he has that, Graeme will come through.

I think he just wants a clear mandate, clarity on what he’s allowed to do and to have people around him who he trusts.

And the impasse between the players and CSA?

You’ve got to recognise your key stakeholders and then you have to engage them on a partnership level.

Those stakeholders are your players. It almost starts with a stakeholder philosophy – how you engage them. You’ve got to sit around the table with them, and the key is to [do that] early and often.

My understanding from the SA Cricketers’ Association [Saca] is that both were not done. That’s a relationship that can be repaired. We actually had a very good relationship with Saca over the years, we just need to pull the role-players together, get them to sit down and engage with them. We’ve got to recognise that they form a key component of our industry, and when you start off with that philosophy, it’s a bit easier to have a relationship.

The Mzansi Super League (MSL) is seen as the main reason CSA is bleeding money. How do you put that toothpaste back in the tube?

The MSL is a great on-field product, once we recognise that we can build around it. I wonder if it’s not time to integrate the commercial offering with the bilateral tours and even your domestic game because it hasn’t really worked as a stand-alone competition commercially.

There are a lot of reasons for that. One is that new brands that were rolled out didn’t really take off because there wasn’t enough money behind them.

The second thing is the commercial environment isn’t that big. I think if you go to your sponsors and say they can get exposure in the bilateral internationals, domestic game and the MSL – that’s probably a better way to package it, and would make the bleeding more palatable. That would be my approach.

Would you reverse the decision to move away from the franchise system or would you press on with CSA’s proposed new competition structure?

I guess that’s going to be reviewed. I’ve always been a big fan of eight teams, but we have to analyse the impact – whether it’s going to dilute the cricket.

It seems like the reporting to the decision-making structures wasn’t always that factual. We need a proper impact analysis. At least we know what we get out of the six franchises even though there’s a lot of debate around it.

While people say 12 regions need a team, we’re not England and we don’t have that infrastructure or economy. So my concern is more financial because I’m not sure we can even fund 12 professional teams.

How would you restore CSA’s credibility with the players, sponsors, media and public?

There needs to be an ethical leader; someone who has credibility.

We also need to take a hard look at ourselves and ask what processes and decisions got us here. But I don’t think the public wants the same people to tell them a different story – you can’t declare yourself credible again.


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