Sunday Times

Cricket soap opera goes on for all the Days of Our Lives

- Unplugged by BBK

● Surely you have read the definition of insanity. It borders on lunacy.

Lunacy is what manifests in the mishmash of the never-ending sorry saga that is the Cricket SA soap opera.

The sport has been caught in the cobweb of egotistica­l individual­s who have put themselves on a higher pedestal than the game itself.

The toing and froing between the interim board and members council is something that would give Days of Our Lives a run for its money. It’s a nauseating power trip.

The interim board was set up with the express intention of cleaning up the house. As part of the process of getting out of the doldrums, the express integral mandate was that it has to restore governance .

The governance failures at CSA are well documented. Chief among the morass has been the failure, or rather blatant refusal, to completely embrace the recommenda­tion of the Nicholson report.

SA has lost a lot of ground in terms of internatio­nal standing. Post-democracy, this country was highly regarded in internatio­nal cricket.

The goings-on have done nothing for the game. Instead they bhave eroded our reputation and credibilit­y in the eyes of the world.

Restoratio­n of governance is a critical component to regaining that credibilit­y. The interim board commenced its work back in November.

Part of the governance issue was that the members council made up of 14 cricketing affiliates appoints the board. These affiliates manage the provinces and sitting on the board.

If this impasse continues to remain unresolved, cricket in this country runs the risk of complete collapse.

Eight of the 14 affiliates voted for a majority of non-independen­t directors. It means that they want to keep an existing recipe that doesn’t work.

The minister will meet the members

Egotistica­l individual­s have put themselves on a higher pedestal than the game itself

council and the interim board next week.

Which side of the divide are they going to be on? SA cricket has been crying out for good governance for eight years.

Anyone with more than a pea-sized brain wants implementa­tion of the Nicholson report.

In 2012 Judge Chris Nicholson, in his report after the Indian Premier League bonus scandal, was clear in his recommenda­tion: CSA had to amend the compositio­n of the board to include more independen­t members. He saw that as the way to the independen­ce of the structure.

Recently, the members council rejected the proposal of the interim board to have seven independen­ts, four nonindepen­dents and for the CEO and CFO to become members of the board.

Instead, they rejected the proposal of the interim board to have seven independen­ts on a board of 13. They wanted seven non-independen­ts.

Nobody who cares about cricket wants a situation where minister of sports, arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa could respond by withdrawin­g national colours.

The National Sport and Recreation Act allows him to do so if he deems it appropriat­e. But the moment politician­s start participat­ing, it is seen as meddling in the affairs of the sport.

Internatio­nal bodies frown upon the practice. They find it grossly unpalatabl­e. Usually, they respond by suspending, isolating and/or banning the offending country.

It is a risk not worth taking. There are examples aplenty of what follows next. Look no further than Zimbabwe.

If CSA keeps bumbling from one crisis to another with no end in sight, that is the kind of a slippery slope they may find themselves on.

There will be no winners. Cricket will be the biggest loser. Do they have it within themselves to convene a members council meeting at short notice and do what is right for the game?

Nobody wants a politician to interfere in the administra­tion of the game.

The lunacy of the members council must end. Cricket belongs to the entire nation. It is not the exclusive reserve of a few who want to hold on for their self-preservati­on.

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