Cricket SA’s calamitous own-goal
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.