Crisis averted for now, but South African cricket still in chaos

Quinton De Koch has been a tower of strength in a dark time for South African Cricket

South Africa will not have its Test licence revoked, with Cricket South Africa and the The Members Council putting down their guns, for now. 

Cricket South Africa and The Members Council released a joint press statement declaring the outstanding issues were resolved, with these surrounding amendments in the memorandum of incorporation (MOI). 

This followed Minister of Sports Nathi Mthethwa warning he would not hesitate to enact the National Sports and Recreation Act, after Cricket South Africa failed to establish a new MOI that would pave the way for an independent board.  

The International Cricket Council had previously issued a warning that they may strip South Africa of their licence if Minister Mthethwa acted on his threat, which would essentially strip Cricket SA of their power to be the game’s governing body. 

“The members’ council and the board are very pleased to announce that a crisis has been averted and agreement has been reached on all outstanding issues‚” reads the joint statement.

“This agreement will now trigger an expedited process to adopt the MOI in terms of the Companies Act (s60) within 48 hours.

“By reaching this agreement‚ cricket in SA has adopted a governance model which is best practice both in SA and internationally.”

South Africa’s cricket captains Dean Elgar (Test captain), Temba Bavuma (ODI) and Henrich Klaasen (T20I captain) issued a brief statement to say off-field issues were definitely hurting the Proteas’ on-field prospects. 

“At a time when we should be enthusiastic about the future, we have to be concerned about the future (of the game),” they said. 

“The Proteas Men’s team has an ICC World T20 event in November. The current state of cricket administration undermines our preparation in this regard. It may even lead to our suspension from this event should the ICC decide to suspend South Africa. 

“Government intervention in the sport will have dire consequences, and the captains feel that this may lead to the ICC suspending South Africa.”

The potential for South Africa to be booted from international cricket arose because the ICC does not allow governments to meddle with the governance of the sport. 

This led to the government and CSA’s interim board effectively going to war against the member’s council of CSA, which have great sway over decisions in South African cricket. They are made up of 14 presidents of South Africa’s provincial cricket regions. 

Cricket powerbrokers are hopeful the newly installed MOI, which give the board an independent chairman and a majority of independent members, will clear the air for the sport to move into the future. 

The internal politics of South African cricket and the pandemic have both played a role in the sport struggling financially in the country. 

South Africa recently lost both a ODI and T20 series against Pakistan in South Africa, following Australia’s decision to pull out of their tour because of Covid-19. 

The Proteas are next due to play on July 11 when they host Ireland in the first of a three-match ODI series, before playing three T20s against the same opposition. South African betting sites are yet to release any odds for this series, with both countries still struggling to overcome Covid-19.

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