Cricket South Africa board rejects SASCOC order to step down
The entire senior executive board of Cricket South Africa has been instructed by the country’s Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to step down, but is refusing to do so and taking legal advice on the issue.
SASCOC, the body in charge of all high-performance sport in South Africa, took the decision at a board meeting on Tuesday, citing “the many instances of maladministration and malpractice” at CSA, which it said “brought cricket into disrepute.”
The entire board of CSA, including the recently appointed acting chief executive Kugandrie Govender, was told to step aside.
However, in a rebuttal-type statement this morning, CSA said it “does not agree” with the decision, and will take legal advice on the way “SASCOC has sought to intervene in the business affairs of CSA.”
It added that “CSA… has not had the opportunity to engage with SASCOC on various issues raised in the communication”, but did say that it committed to “engaging further with SASCOC to understand its position.”
The two bodies are set to meet for talks on Monday..
Govender told the South African website Sport24 site that her organisation is not under administration, but is the subject of an "intervention" from SASCOC.
SASCOC originally started taking a keen interest in the overall situation at CSA after it requested to see a report which the cricket body had produced last December as the basis for firing its then chief executive Thabang Moroe for gross misconduct.
However, CSA refused to share the report, and that prompted SASCOC to make further investigations into its affairs, including the recent resignations of president Chris Nenzani and Jacques Faul, the acting chief executive (who replaced Moroe, and was then himself replaced by Govender).
In a letter to the CSA members’ council, seen by the ESPNCricinfo website, SASCOC said: “The Board’s decision to make the said report available only on a limited basis to the President and Board members of SASCOC is wholly unreasonable and irrational given the apparent nature and scope of the report.”
SASCOC, which does have the constitutional power to make decisions about the country’s sporting federations if it deems it necessary, has now said it will appoint a task team to conduct its own investigation into CSA’s affairs - both administrative and financial. CSA has been told it will be expected to assist the team.
As of the time the letter was delivered to CSA, technically there is now no one body in charge of South African cricket, and there is no schedule for the 2020-21 season because of the pandemic.
Govender told Reuters yesterday that “the International Cricket Council have also expressed some concerns [over the SASCOC move]… we believe our decision is warranted, and that it will be embraced by the ICC.”
South African cricket has had a turbulent few years on and off the pitch, losing sponsors such as Standard Bank along the way.
The governing body is projecting losses of R654 million (just over $39 million) over the four-year cycle ending in April 2022, and has clashed with the South African Cricketers’ Association over planned changes to the domestic structure, performing a u-turn when the union said it would cost the jobs of up to 70 cricketers, and moved to take legal action.
CSA launched the Mzansi Super League, a new domestic Twenty20 competition, in 2018, but has so far been unable to secure a fee for television rights, which has meant the two competitions to date have cost in excess of R200 million ($11.5 million).