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Cricket SA interim board take immediate action

03 November 2020 - 14:26 By Tiisetso Malepa
The interim Cricket SA board has its work cut out for it as it tries to restore stakeholder and public confidence in the administration of the game.
The interim Cricket SA board has its work cut out for it as it tries to restore stakeholder and public confidence in the administration of the game.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Cricket SA (CSA) will finally implement the recommendations of the 2012 Nicholson Report and trim the number of members to serve on the board while packing it with independent members.

This was resolved at a CSA interim board meeting on Monday, where issues such as the appointment of the new full-time board‚ the Nicholson Report‚ domestic restructuring‚ the Fundudzi Report and a breakdown of relations with the media‚ among others‚ were discussed.

The interim board‚ announced and appointed by sports‚ arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa last week‚ has its work cut out for it as it tries to restore stakeholder and public confidence in the administration of the game.

The temporary leadership hit the deck running and discussed two options to implement the Nicholson recommendation on the composition of the board‚ with the new CSA board to have nine directors or an even smaller number.

Both options would have a majority of independent members and the chairperson will come from the independent ranks of the board directors.

TimesLIVE reported earlier this month that CSA had decided that‚ following almost a year of instability and bad press‚ one of the amendments being bandied about was that the board’s chairperson should come from one of the current independent directors.

The CSA board resigned in its entirety two week ago.

The members’ council‚ CSA’s highest decision-making body‚ has already held consultations regarding both these options, and the board will engage on the issue in the coming days with a view to expeditiously amending the memorandum of incorporation (MOI)‚ a document that serves as the constitution that governs the cricket body.

Judith February‚ lawyer and governance expert who is part of the CSA interim board‚ said there will be consequence management for those responsible for the mess in which the organisation finds itself.

“We will do everything possible to ensure those responsible for misdeeds and bringing the game and the organisation into disrepute are held to account‚” said February.

“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 Nicholson recommendations of a smaller board composition are already standard practice in Australia and New Zealand‚ who have trimmed down boards packed with majority independent administrators.

That was in 2012.

The CSA did the opposite by choosing to expand its board over the next 18 months with a majority of non-independent members.

Paragraph 357 of the Nicholson Report categorically states: “We are of the view that the changes‚ initiated in New Zealand and continued in Australia and the International Cricket Council (ICC)‚ with regard to amending the constitution of CSA‚ so as to elect a smaller board‚ with a majority independent‚ professionally skilled‚ non-executive directors‚ ought to be effected in SA.”

The CSA interim board also said it has considered Dave Richardson’s recommendations regarding restructuring the men’s domestic game and mandated Haroon Lorgat‚ Omphile Ramela and Andre Odendaal to interrogate the matter.

Below are some of the issues discussed by the CSA interim board.

ICC Presidency:

  • A discussion ensued regarding SA’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 acting CSA president Rihan Richards this week. The board is of the view that one of its members ought to represent SA at the ICC.

Fundudzi Report:

  • The board discussed certain aspects of the report and has tasked a small sub-committee comprised of Judge Zak Yacoob‚ Dawn Mbatha‚ 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 CSA could be restored.
  • Regrettably‚ the relationship between CSA and the media has broken down. Urgent steps will be taken to restore that relationship and 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.
  • 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.