Ex-Saca CEO Irish to respond to allegations made against the union at Cricket SA’s transformation hearings

05 August 2021 - 13:37
By mahlatse mphahlele AND Mahlatse Mphahlele
Former Saca CEO Tony Irish.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images Former Saca CEO Tony Irish.

Former South African Cricketers' Association (Saca) CEO Tony Irish will get an opportunity to present the union's side of the story and respond to the allegations made against it at Cricket SA’s (CSA) Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) project.

Saca have been accused by some former players‚ administrators and CSA board members of being an obstacle to transformation when it came to the selection of black players to the Proteas.

“I know the CEO of Saca is preparing representation and submissions to the hearings and I will probably have an opportunity of reading those when they are ready‚ and if I need to support those I will‚” said Irish.

“Whenever they want me to come‚ I will absolutely co-operate with them. I know that Saca has come under attack in some of these hearings and I think some of it is unfair and unjustified‚ and I will be supporting Saca’s submissions in response to that.”

Irish‚ who was instrumental in establishing Saca in 2002 and led it for 17 years before he stepped down in December 2019 for a similar role with the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) in England‚ said some of the things said about the organisation were upsetting.

“I haven’t been following the hearings closely but a lot of it has been upsetting actually. There are a lot of allegations that have been made that are just not true. I am not directly involved in South African cricket at the moment, even though I am still on the board of the international players' association.

“I am not involved in Saca or South African cricket but it is just disappointing. When the time comes‚ I will definitely be ready to go the hearings and set the record straight whenever they call me.”

Cricket SA’s SJN project is chaired by ombudsman and advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza‚ and was established to investigate racial discrimination within the organisation and recommend remedial action.