JOHANNESBURG: All the three captains of the Proteas squads have signed a joint statement expressing serious concern over possible suspension of South Africa by the ICC because of the current governance crisis at Cricket South Africa (CSA).
The players said if the current impasse is not resolved soon, South Africa may not been able to take part in the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in India in October-November.
“At a time when we should be enthusiastic about the future, we have to be concerned about the future (of the game),” they said.
“The Proteas Men’s team has an ICC World T20 event in November. The current state of cricket administration undermines our preparation in this regard. It may even lead to our suspension from this event should the ICC decide to suspend South Africa.”
The impasse between the Members’ Council (MC) of CSA and its Interim Board (IB), which was expected to be resolved at a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Saturday, ended with a secret ballot by the MC that refused to accept long-standing proposals for amendments to its Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) to allow for a majority independent Board and an independent Chair.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthetwa has now indicated that he will step in to address the crisis, which has been going on for 18 months now, during which time almost all top executives and the Board at CSA either stepped down or were dismissed.
“Government intervention in the sport will have dire consequences, and the captains feel that this may lead to the ICC suspending South Africa.
“The right to represent South Africa may be withdrawn and the ICC may suspend Cricket South Africa. These outcomes will in turn impact touring, broadcast rights and sponsorship deals. Ultimately, the financial viability of the game will suffer and cricket at all levels will be severely prejudiced,” the players said.
“The Members’ Council has now acted contrary to the wishes of the Minister, the Nicholson Recommendations, King IV Governance principles, and international best practice – how can this be in the best interests of our game?” the statement queried.
The crisis was exacerbated when, despite an initial ruling that other participants in the virtual meeting on Saturday, including the media, would have only observer status, the chairman allowed SASCOC Acting Chairman Barry Hendricks to address the meeting.
Hendricks advised the meeting against accepting the MOI because he said it first had to be sanctioned by SASCOC as the mother body for all sport in the country.
He also issued a veiled threat that without this, CSA risked losing its national colours and the participation of the Proteas women’s squad, which has qualified for the Commonwealth Games, could be in jeopardy.
CSA IB Chair Dr Stavros Nicolaou expressed his great disappointment after the meeting.