Cricket SA’s calami­tous own-goal

The Citizen (KZN) - - Letters - Heinz Schenk

This week, Cricket South Africa (CSA) lost an ar­bi­tra­tion case against one of its big­gest af­fil­i­ates, the West­ern Prov­ince Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion (WPCA). WPCA re­quired a loan from the fed­er­a­tion to fund a new, po­ten­tially lu­cra­tive prop­erty de­vel­op­ment – a meaty R90.8 mil­lion.

CSA, ini­tially, were al­legedly coy about the whole af­fair be­fore be­lat­edly re­al­is­ing the pro­ject might re­alise a de­cent re­turn.

Be­liev­ing they were flex­ing their mus­cles, the fed­er­a­tion re­called the loan early, which the WPCA would strug­gle to re­pay. So, CSA wanted a 24% stake in the ven­ture.

CSA trumped up “safety con­cerns” at New­lands (de­spite the site be­ing well cor­doned off) and “dis­tressed con­di­tions” WPCA were op­er­at­ing un­der.

It used its con­sti­tu­tion, or mem­o­ran­dum of in­cor­po­ra­tion (MoI), to ex­er­cise its step-in rights.

Yet the WPCA weren’t go­ing to roll over.

It took CSA to court and the ar­biter ruled CSA’s MoI had “short­com­ings”, which ren­dered its power to place the WPCA un­der ad­min­is­tra­tion, well, use­less.

The 13-man WPCA board that was sus­pended has now been re­stored.

CSA said it won’t chal­lenge the rul­ing and will rather ad­dress the holes in its cor­po­rate gov­er­nance frame­work.

It’s a crack­ing ef­fort in a hat­ful of em­bar­rass­ing own goals CSA, un­der the lead­er­ship of CEO Tha­bang Moroe, has scored.

How­ever, the most im­por­tant thing that should be taken away from this spe­cific saga is that lo­cal cricket, un­for­tu­nately, will have to take the lead in the fight against Moroe’s brand of man­age­ment.

It will re­quire af­fil­i­ate boards to give their pres­i­dents man­dates to start chal­leng­ing res­o­lu­tions at CSA level, to ex­press dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the way the fed­er­a­tion is slump­ing deeper into an abyss.

Yes, re­ly­ing on ad­min­is­tra­tors – they’re self-serv­ing agen­das are well known – sounds dodgy.

But it’s the only weapon SA cricket has.

Sas­coc tech­ni­cally doesn’t have any pow­ers to in­ter­vene in CSA, ex­cept not award­ing na­tional colours. Plus, the um­brella body is also cur­rently far more pre­oc­cu­pied with its own in­fight­ing.

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