Cricket South Africa re­fuses to back Smith’s sup­port of Gan­guly

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The di­vi­sions in South African cricket were ex­posed again when Cricket South Africa (CSA) pres­i­dent Chris Nen­zani said Graeme Smith’s call for Sourav Gan­guly to be­come In­ter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil chair­man did not have of­fi­cial ap­proval.

“We must re­spect both the ICC pro­to­col and our own pro­to­col in de­cid­ing which can­di­date to back,” Nen­zani, a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure who has stayed in of­fice de­spite sev­eral calls for his res­ig­na­tion, said on Thurs­day night.

“There have been no can­di­dates nom­i­nated as yet and once such nom­i­na­tions have been made the Board of CSA will take its de­ci­sion in terms of its own pro­to­col.”

Smith, CSA’s di­rec­tor of cricket, said at a press con­fer­ence on Thurs­day that he be­lieved In­dia’s Gan­guly, a fel­low for­mer Test cap­tain, was the best man to suc­ceed an­other In­dian Shashank Manohar, whose term as ICC chair­man is about to ex­pire.

“We have the high­est re­gard for the opin­ions of our di­rec­tor of cricket, Graeme Smith, who is a well-re­spected fig­ure in world cricket and has al­ready made an im­mense con­tri­bu­tion in ful­fill­ing his man­date to make our cricket teams world lead­ers again,” said Nen­zani. “At the mo­ment we don’t want to an­tic­i­pate any can­di­dates who may be nom­i­nated for this im­por­tant po­si­tion to lead the game we all love.”

The ad­min­is­tra­tion of cricket in South Africa has been in tur­moil since the con­sti­tu­tion of CSA was changed at the an­nual meet­ing last Septem­ber to al­low Nen­zani an ex­tra year in of­fice af­ter he had al­ready served the max­i­mum two three-year terms.

The ex­ten­sion was os­ten­si­bly to guide the or­gan­i­sa­tion through a new sys­tem headed by then-chief ex­ec­u­tive Tha­bang Moroe.

But Moroe proved a di­vi­sive fig­ure and was sus­pended in De­cem­ber on charges of mis­con­duct. Be­fore his sus­pen­sion he had alien­ated the coun­try’s play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion and cre­ated a storm when he with­drew the ac­cred­i­ta­tion of five jour­nal­ists who had been crit­i­cal of him.

A ma­jor spon­sor ended its re­la­tion­ship with CSA and an­other spon­sor called for the res­ig­na­tion of the board, headed by Nen­zani. This call was echoed by the play­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion. Two of CSA’s five in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors and one non-in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor re­signed.

Jac­ques Faul, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the suc­cess­ful Ti­tans fran­chise, was ap­pointed as in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive and Smith took the di­rec­tor of cricket role af­ter ini­tially ex­press­ing mis­giv­ings.

Since then Faul and Smith have ef­fec­tively taken charge of run­ning the game in the coun­try, while the board have largely re­mained in the back­ground — un­til Nen­zani’s state­ment on Thurs­day night.


Sourav Gan­guly.

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