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Season opens with administrators on a sticky wicket

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 2011-10-12 00:31:13.0

The Times Editorial: The cricket season gets off with a bang at Newlands tomorrow night when the Proteas take on old rivals Australia in a Twenty20 game. It promises to be a full house and the prospect of big hitting at the foot of Devil's Peak will ensure the fans go home happy.

But if the opening international of the cricket season takes place in the shadow of Table Mountain, the running of the game takes place under a cloud.

Cricket South Africa, already embroiled in an ugly scandal over serious allegations of financial mismanagement, now faces further public embarrassment.

The chairman of the CSA committee that oversees nominations for provincial presidents says he can see nothing wrong with a convicted fraudster becoming head of cricket in the Eastern Province.

Rayan Moodaley, who stole money meant for cricket umpires and scorers in the province, is expected to become the president of those very people before the end of the month. Last week Moodaley was the only nomination for the position when the previous incumbent decided to stand down.

Ray Mali, an experienced sports administrator, is the person who vets such nominations. "Anything else outside of cricket should not matter," said Mali. It was stunning in its arrogance, but also revealing of how Cricket SA regards itself.

You would have thought that Mali, of all people, would have smelled corruption, having had to oversee Athletics South Africa following the malfeasance in that once-benighted body.

But perhaps Mali, like his colleagues on the board of Cricket SA, has lost the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Why else would they want to get rid of a man who is committed to cleaning up the organisation?

On Saturday, Mali and his mates will orchestrate a putsch against Mtutuzeli Nyoka, the president of Cricket SA, in the hope that the scandal will disappear. They could not be more wrong.

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