SA Cricketers’ Association calls for more heads to roll at CSA after Moroe's suspension

09 December 2019 - 16:49
By Tiisetso Malepa
Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani (R) and his deputy Beresford Williams (L) must vacate their offices, said the SA Criceters' Association.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani (R) and his deputy Beresford Williams (L) must vacate their offices, said the SA Criceters' Association.

Crisis-riddled Cricket South Africa (CSA) is headed for a tailspin after the SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca) once again called for the entire board to resign.

It is the second time in four days that the powerful players’ union has called for the removal of suspended CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe and the 12-member board led by its president Chris Nenzani.

Under pressure from the public to act as CSA plunged into chaotic waters‚ the embattled organisation resolved to suspend Moroe for misconduct on full pay on Friday.

But they announced that president Nenzani‚ vice-president Beresford Williams and current directors intended to continue in office.

On Monday‚ two days after Saca first called for the resignation of both the board and Moroe‚ the players’ union welcomed the chief executive’s suspension but reiterated that the buck did not stop with him.

Saca called for the entire board to be dissolved.

“We are astounded that the Board of CSA which has led the organisation during a tumultuous period when all this has happened now refuses to take responsibility for the deep‚ deep crisis in which cricket finds itself‚” outgoing Saca chief executive Tony Irish said on Monday.

“No one disagrees with the removal of the chief executive‚ but to suggest that the buck stopped with him alone‚ and for the Board to cling so desperately to power‚ is a matter for serious concern.”

Saca listed forecasts of huge and unprecedented financial deficits‚ reports of uncontrolled spending by staff‚ suspensions of senior employees‚ resignations of board members and attempts to silence the media among their concerns.

“These have unfolded over a period of time on the Board's watch‚ mostly with its knowledge and some even with its support‚” said Irish.

Matters came to a head at the chaotic CSA last week when two independent board members – first Professor Shirley Zinn and later Iqbal Khan – tendered in their resignations with immediate effect two days apart.

The situation worsened, also on Friday, when Standard Bank have confirmed that they will not renew their contract with CSA as the title sponsor for the Proteas when it comes to an end on April 30‚ 2020. The bank said the CSA administrative bungles have "damaged its reputation."

As things stand‚ the senior men’s national cricket team does not have a director of cricket‚ team director and there is no panel of selectors with the England tour to South Africa looming large.

The first test starts in Centurion on Boxing Day.

In a bid to steer the CSA ship back to safe waters and win back the public's trust‚ the reeling organisation roped in Jacques Faul as acting chief executive in place of the suspended Moroe at its AGM on Saturday.

Faul‚ who previously served in the same interim capacity‚ will be assisted by former International Cricket Council Dave Richardson in a consultancy role.

“Cricket has been severely damaged by its own leadership and the game desperately needs the right people in whom the cricket stakeholders‚ including the players‚ can trust in attempting to fix as much of the damage as possible‚” concluded Irish.

Saca welcomed the appointment of Faul but maintained their call for the entire board to step aside.

“Saca is prepared to deal with him (Faul) in good faith in order to attempt to resolve as many as possible of the current crises affecting the players.

“It is hoped that the new chief executive will appoint a highly competent director of cricket so that‚ even at this very late stage‚ he can start putting the best possible professional structure around the Proteas team.”

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith has in principle agreed to become CSA’s first ever director of cricket and is expected to put pen to paper this week.