When sports minister Nathi Mthethwa meets with the Cricket South Africa Members Council and Interim Board from 5pm on Tuesday, it is likely their first point of business will be to carefully go through the first item on the list of key deliverables he gave the Interim Board when they were set up at the end of October.
Item 1.1.1 on that list is headed “Implementation of Nicholson Recommendations” and it has been the stumbling block that has led to war now between the Members Council and the Interim Board.
At issue is whether Mthethwa intended for the recommendations of the Nicholson Commission – especially those concerning a board made up of a majority of independent directors and being chaired by an independent director – to be non-negotiables.
The Interim Board believes those two clauses to ensure the independence of the new board are non-negotiable; the Members Council refuses to accept them. Mthethwa will have to clear the air with his verdict on Tuesday evening.
At the moment, clarity is in short supply because this is how Item 1.1.1 reads: “The (Interim) Board would need to start a process where they would review the process undertaken towards the implementation of the Nichsolson recommendations and the work done on the implementation thus far would be foregrounded by that. In this regard, part of the criticism levelled against the former CSA Board was that the Nicholson recommendations were very clear, but that Board had not considered issues of governance within the organisation.”
No wonder there are disagreements.
All parties concerned could do worse than to also closely examine a proposal by the Northerns Cricket Union that might just be the compromise to end the war.
They have proposed an equal split between independent and non-independent directors, with the chair going to whoever the best candidate is from either grouping. They would also like the stipulation that at least one of the independents must have played international cricket before, and another two must have served in some sort of sporting structure before.
Perhaps the Interim Board will counter with a proposal stipulating certain standards for the non-independent directors as well.