Cricket SA's new administrative era underway: 'We were facing an apocalyptic situation'

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Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo)
Nathi Mthethwa (Gallo)
  • Cricket South Africa's new administrative era is underway, with a 12 June AGM set to see a majority independent board appointed. 
  • Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa called the moment a "victory" for cricket. 
  • Players and fans will hope that this spells he end of the administrative unrest that as long plagued the sport.

Cricket South Africa's (CSA) new administrative era is underway with a majority independent board set to be elected at a June 12 AGM. 

The new board will include a total of 15 directors, with that number set to become 13 after three-years. 

It will comprise eight independent directors set to be nominated by an independent directors panel and five non-independent directors put forward by the members' council. The other two board positions will be filled by two CSA executives - the CEO and CFO. 

In addition, the chairperson of the board must come from one of the eight independent directors. 

Those were the takeaways from a press briefing held on Friday that saw Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa, acting CSA president Rihan Richards and interim board chairperson Stavos Nicolaou address media and confirm the company's newly approved Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI). 

The complete day-to-day administrative running of CSA will be the responsibility of the new board, while the members' council will remain but be tasked with running cricket matters within their respective provincial regions.

It means is that the president of the members' council and the president of CSA can no longer be the same person, while the new board will appoint CSA's representative at the International Cricket Council (ICC). 

It brings to an end a stand-off between the members' council and the interim board that lasted months and, as recently as last week, threatened the very existence of cricket as Mthethwa took the decision to strip CSA of its government funding and status as a national federation. 

That decision has now been rescinded. 

It has been nearly six months since the interim board was appointed, on Mthethwa's command, to clean up the administrative affairs of CSA with the directive to implement the Nicholson report that, in 2012, recommended that the CSA board be made of majority independents. 

"Remember the date 30 April, 2021," Nicolaou said. 

"It is a seminal date in the history and evolution of cricket in our country. It will go down as a historical date because, forever and from today, cricket will be placed on a solid, sound governance pathway.

"As with all history, it comes with struggle and it is never handed on a platter. This process ... did come with its fair measure of struggle and blood, sweat and tears, but I think we're all pleased and relieved for the sake of the game and the nation that we've arrived at this point today.

"You cannot position yourself in sport or in the country if people have ongoing doubts about your governance. If you don't have governance, you cannot affect proper transformation.

"It is well documented that we were at the edge of the cliff. We were millimeters away from going off the edge of the cliff, and unfortunately the cliff is a very steep one and not one that you can easily climb back from.

"We were facing a scenario that was apocalyptic almost.

"Being at the edge of the cliff, your sponsors get nervous, your staff get nervous and the country at large gets nervous and we had to do something to pull back from the brink."

Mthethwa, meanwhile, said that Friday was a "victory" for cricket and sports administration. 

"We have never minced our words and we have never kept people guessing about our strategic objective," he said of government's involvement in crisis.

"I'm glad that the parties have found each other and are singing from the same hymn book as we forge ahead to the AGM.

"This is victory, put bluntly. Today is victory. 

"This is a point we have to learn from as we cast our eyes further towards other sporting eyes in the country. We have learned a lot.

"I think we now have to start the process of packing our bags as government and move aside so that sport works continuously and unhindered."

Richards confirmed that the MC had approved the new MoI on a unanimous basis. 

"We want to make it clear that this document is the result of consensus," he said.

"A lot of the time people think that consensus is reached by compromise. This document is not a compromise. It was a negotiated process to which all parties have committed."

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