Heinz Schenk
4 minute read
27 Nov 2019
8:59 pm

Cricket South Africa’s scary and growing list of failures

Heinz Schenk

The federation is looking increasingly hapless under Thabang Moroe as they keep hitting their own wicket.

CSA Chief Executive Officer, Thabang Moroe during the CSA media briefing at CSA Head Office on April 12, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

On Wednesday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) conceded that it won’t be challenging the arbitration ruling between itself and the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA), an embarrassing development after they supposedly tried to flex their muscles by placing the affiliate under administration.

But the scary thing about this saga is that it’s only one of various dramas plaguing the governing body, which is looking increasingly hapless under the leadership of chief executive Thabang Moroe.

Here’s a look at CSA’s growing list of failures.

ALSO READ: More embarrassment for CSA as it loses arbitration battle with Western Province

Arbitration deflation

In late September, the federation unexpectedly announced that it had placed WPCA under administration because the suits at Newlands were operating under “distressed conditions”.

Instead, it turns out CSA wanted a R81 million loan, granted to the WPCA to commence a property development on the B-field of the stadium, repaid early and fell into a disagreement with the local board.

As a result, it invoked its constitution to intervene.

Now, CSA has had to cede all control back to the previously sidelined WPCA board and were informed there were “shortcomings” with its own constitution.

Director of nothing

When CSA announced after the Proteas’ dismal showing at this year’s World Cup that it was creating a director of cricket position, there were already fears about how independent it would be given Moroe’s centralised view of power.

Nonetheless, there was much excitement when legendary national skipper Graeme Smith was revealed to be a strong candidate, before he withdrew, citing how CSA was dragging its feet on the appointment process in general.

Since then – with England touring next month – most observers are merely hoping that the vacancy some gets filled.

That’s turned into a farce.

CSA deny they missed their own deadline for the appointment, despite Moroe clearly proclaiming in two separate interviews that they would confirm it last Friday.

“We will make communication tomorrow (Friday) about the Director of cricket role. Even if we don’t announce a name tomorrow (Friday), we will communicate that,” he told SAFM.

“The deadline we have set ourselves is Friday,” he told Newzroom Africa.

On Wednesday, two beat writers took to Twitter to illustrate how CSA are now totally in denial about the DoC position and the national convener of selectors.

Throwing rocks at the MSL glasshouse

At the end of October, CSA suspended three top officials – Corrie van Zyl (acting director of cricket), Naasei Appiah (COO) and Clive Eksteen (commercial manager) – for for “dereliction of duties” related to payments associated with player image rights for last season’s Mzansi Super League.

Saca had declared a formal dispute earlier that week over the unpaid amount of R2.4 million as per the commercial agreement.

ALSO READ: Rift deepens as player union questions Cricket SA’s suspension of top officials

CSA said the sanctioning of the trio was to “reassure all cricket fans and all cricket stakeholders that our organisation and indeed our staff adhere to the highest ethical standards in all our dealings and that consistency and accountability remains uppermost in all our processes and procedures.”

But then Saca threw the curve ball that they found it “very unlikely” that Moroe knew nothing of the simmering impasse.

“Saca didn’t deal with Appiah on this issue and in its dealings with Van Zyl and Eksteen over many months they both expressed a strong desire to resolve the payment issue, but it eventually became clear that higher approval to do so was necessary,” said CEO Tony Irish at the time.

“We think it’s highly unlikely that (Moroe) would not have been aware of this ongoing issue. He was undoubtedly aware of payment obligations as he had signed the agreement.”

Another self-imposed deadline missed

The same week as the MSL drama, CSA once again butted heads with the WPCA, this time over its franchise team, the Cape Cobras, not fulfilling its transformation targets for a 4-day Franchise series match.

The Cobras only fielding two Black African players in the match against the Warriors, one less than the required target, but they did have seven players of colour, one more than the stipulated six.

ALSO READ: Cobras hit back: CSA knew we weren’t going to pick three black players

Cobras chief Nabeal Dien had told The Citizen that CSA had actually approved their playing XI before the first ball of that game was bowled.

The governing body launched an investigation into the matter and said it was “anticipated” to take 14 days.

Nobody has heard anything on it since…

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