Central Gauteng Lions appoints its first female president

Anne Vilas (Supplied)
Anne Vilas (Supplied)

The Central Gauteng Lions (CGL) appointed their first female president and chairperson to lead the union, Anne Vilas on Friday.

Vilas' son is former Proteas wicketkeeper batsman Dane Vilas, who currently plays for Lancashire on a Kolpak deal.

Anne has worked in the sports industry for more than 30-years, particularly on the marketing of the GM brand with various professional cricketers.

"I am extremely humbled to be elected as the first woman President and Chairperson of CGL and look forward to working with my two Vice-Presidents, Ebrahim Lambat and Batlhalefeng 'Lucky' Lesele, my lead Independent Director Ziyanda Ngcobo and all the board of directors," she said in a press release.

"We look forward to growing all cricket in our province especially focusing on growing the game in townships and rural areas.

"We understand that there are currently more pressing Covid-19 challenges and will not deter from those.

"As CGL, we are working with various organisations like Cricket South Africa; the Department of Health; Department of Sport, Arts, Culture & Recreation and SASCOC amongst others to ensure the safe return of our staff, clients and service providers, safe return to training and play.

"I look forward to working with all our stakeholders – CSA affiliated unions, staff, sponsors, partners, clients, unions, public sector entities, tenants, clubs, schools, universities, NGOs, media partners and all the fans that continue to support all our CGL and Imperial Lions brands," commented Vilas.

"I am happy to announce that the following Independent Directors were appointed to serve as part of the new CGL Board of Directors."

The full CGL Board is thus: 

Jono-Leaf-Wright (CEO/Ex Officio), Anne Vilas (Non Independent - Chairperson and President), Ebrahim Lambat (Non Independent – Vice-President), Batlhalefeng ‘Lucky’ Lesele (Non Independent –Vice-President), Mark Patterson (Non Independent), Yasin Manack (Non Independent), Lunga Kupiso (Non Independent), Earl Glennistor (Non Independent), Vikash Mathura (Independent), Dr Noma Nyembo (Independent), Zwelithini Vilakazi (Independent), Ziyanda Ngcobo (Lead Independent) and Prof Garth Le Pere (Independent). Dean Laing (Alternate Non Independent), Mike Sacher (Alternate Non Independent), Koketso Nthimbani (Alternate Non Independent) and Ruqshana Hassan (Alternate Independent)"

The former CGL President and Chairperson Jack Madiseng said: "It is with great excitement to hear of the appointment of Anne Vilas as the new President of CGL.

"This is history in the making at CGL to have its first female President. I am absolutely chuffed, and I would like to express my sincere and heartfelt gratitude to the Board for her selection.

"Anne is extremely passionate about the sport; she has done a lot for many black African cricketers in Gauteng. She has held a lot of leadership roles at CGL, being the Vice-President for two terms.

"I would like to take this opportunity to wish Anne and her new board the best of luck in this journey," concluded Madiseng.

"If you look at experience on the Board, Anne Vilas certainly ticks many boxes and is currently the most experienced Board member," commented Jono Leaf-Wright, Central Gauteng Lions CEO.

Leaf-Wright added: "In my limited time working with her on the previous Board as Vice-President to Jack Madiseng, in her role on the CGL Finance Committee, REMCO, Lions Board and other areas, I always found her to be a strong and very principled person.

"As we move towards transforming CGL; gender equality and opportunities to show off the strength of women within our extended cricketing family is key.

"It is pleasing and exciting that a predominantly male dominated Board unanimously elected the first female President of the Central Gauteng Lions.

"I am equally pleased that another female Board member, Ziyanda Ngcobo, a practicing attorney at one of South Africa’s top law firms, was also unanimously elected as the lead Independent Director of the CGL Board and confirmed for many that transformation on every level will be a priority and a top agenda item for the new Board.

"In conclusion, I am looking forward to working with all the Directors and making a difference to cricket and to many lives in our wonderful Province," said Leaf-Wright.

- Cricket South Africa

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