CSA board takes immediate action in effort to 'restore public confidence'

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Haroon Lorgat.
Haroon Lorgat.
(Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Cricket South Africa's (CSA) newly appointed interim board met on Monday to address a host of issues engulfing the organisation.

According to a CSA press release on Tuesday, the main objective of the meeting is to "restore public confidence in the game of cricket amongst all its stakeholders, particularly the players, media and the cricket-loving public".

"We will do everything possible to ensure that those responsible for misdeeds and bringing the game and the organisation into disrepute, are held to account," said Judith February, who was newly appointed to the CSA interim board as a lawyer and governance expert.

"The new Board also looks forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with CSA's dedicated employees who have never lost sight of the organisation's mandate to develop and uplift cricket. Taking immediate action is paramount to the progress of the game as we enter a busy cricketing season." 

The CSA Board discussed the matters below:

Appointment of the Board:

The current Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) would be amended to facilitate the appointment of the Board. This would reflect the agreement reached between the Members' Council and the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, last week. The Board presides over a transition period to deal with corporate governance failures which had taken place within CSA, and will further manage the nominations process for a new Board to take its place.

The Minister's referral:

It was agreed that transformation, and growing the women's game, were two specific aspects of the Minister’s brief. These were issues for longer-term consideration even as they infuse all current discussions.

Lines of Authority:

In terms of the current MOI, CSA Members' Council is the highest decision-making authority in South African cricket. The Board therefore accounts to the Members' Council. However, the Board clarified the lines of authority between itself, the Members' Council, and executive management. The Board is responsible for all operational matters within CSA, with the executive management reporting directly to the Board and not the Members' Council.

The Nicholson Report: 

The Board revisited this report and is determined to focus on the restructuring of CSA, specifically the Nicholson recommendations regarding Board composition. On this, the Board discussed two options: one being a 9-member Board as recommended in the Nicholson report, and the second, being a smaller Board. Both options would have a majority of independent members and an independent chair. The Members' Council has already held consultations regarding both these options. The Members' Council and the Board will engage on the issue in the next days, with the view to amending the MOI expeditiously and with due care.

Domestic restructuring of cricket: 

The Board considered Dave Richardson's recommendations regarding restructuring the men's domestic game. This discussion will be ongoing between the Board, the Members' Council, and SACA. The Board mandated Haroon Lorgat, Omphile Ramela and Andre Odendaal to engage with the Members' Council as well as the Cricket committee on this issue.  

ICC Presidency:

A discussion ensued regarding South Africa's view on the ICC Presidency given that the vote on this is imminent. The two candidates are Greg Barclay of New Zealand and Imran Khwaja of Singapore. In addition to a discussion on the merits of each candidate and the implications for CSA, the Board discussed who the appropriate representative of CSA should be at the ICC. The chair will discuss this as a matter of urgency with the Acting CSA President, Rihan Richards, this week. The Board is of the view that one of its members ought to represent South Africa at the ICC.

Fundudzi Report:

The Board discussed certain aspects of the report and has tasked a small sub-committee comprised of Judge Yacoob, Dawn Mbatha, Judith February and Caroline Mampuru to assess the implications of the report and the action which needs to be taken. The Board resolved to take independent legal advice regarding the process for action which will arise from the report. The sub-committee will also discuss making the report public.

Media concerns:

The Board discussed ways in which the damaged reputation of Cricket South Africa could be restored. Regrettably, the relationship between CSA and the media has broken down. Urgent steps will be taken to restore that relationship and also to provide comfort to the media, the players, employees, and cricket fans, that the focus will be on restarting the season while the Board works to bring governance stability. The Board specifically noted the dissatisfaction expressed by many journalists and cricket fans regarding the four-day matches, which had commenced, but were not being broadcast live. Judith February will be the Board Member tasked with gaining an understanding of the capacity and competency within CSA to deal with media and its stakeholders. She will make recommendations to the Board with a view to improve communications and repair the reputational damage CSA has suffered.

- Cricket South Africa

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