News24.com | 30 Proteas – men and women – express concern over CSA’s governance crisis

South Africa’s leading cricketers on Tuesday condemned what they described as “politics and self-interest” in the administration of the game.

In a strongly-worded statement, all the country’s nationally-contracted players – 16 men and 14 women – said Cricket South Africa (CSA) had “lurched from crisis to crisis”.

The statement was issued after CSA announced on Monday that the organisation’s annual general meeting, scheduled for Saturday, had been postponed following the recent resignation of president Chris Nenzani, the sacking of chief executive Thabang Moroe and the resignation of acting chief executive Jacques Faul.

According to CSA, the delay was made necessary by a review of governance, including study of a forensic report which led to the sacking of Moroe and which is understood to be critical of CSA’s board.

The report is currently with a law firm and can only be viewed by members of the game’s ultimate policy body, the Members’ Council, if they sign a non-disclosure agreement.

CSA also acknowledged that a process to nominate potential board members needed to be reopened.

In a further development on Tuesday, acting chief executive Kugandrie Govender said CSA had committed during a meeting with sports minister Nathi Mthethwa to hiring only black consultants “to facilitate transformation”.

This appeared to rule out the re-engagement of Test great Jacques Kallis, who was a batting consultant to the national team last season, and former Test spinner Paul Harris, who was a bowling consultant.

Mthethwa previously criticised the appointment of Kallis and Harris in addition to that of a white coach in Mark Boucher.

In their statement, the players, who include black stars like Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Temba Bavuma, expressed their pride in representing South Africa.

We strive for excellence every time we walk onto the field. We play for every South African.

But the players said they were concerned about the future.

At board and operational level, Cricket South Africa has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past year.

Issues such as suspensions, dismissals, resignations, forensic audits, confidential leaks, litigation and financial mismanagement have dominated the cricket headlines.

This is happening at a time when we are having challenging conversations about transformation, and in an environment where the financial viability of the game is under major threat.”

The cricketers called for administrators to strive for the same high standards that were expected of the players.

To succeed as Proteas teams, we know we have to put aside personal differences and work together. We require the same of our administrators. Politics and self-interest appear to trump cricket imperatives and good governance.

Decisions must be made that are in the best interests of cricket, failing which the game we love may be irreparably damaged in this country.

The 30 Proteas who issued the open letter to CSA:

Aiden Markram, Andile Phehlukwayo, Anrich Nortje, Ayabonga Khaka, Beuran Hendricks, Chloe Tryon, Dané van Niekerk, David Miller, Dean Elgar, Dwaine Pretorius, Faf du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada, Keshav Maharaj, Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Lungi Ngidi, Marizanne Kapp, Masabatha Klaas, Mignon du Preez, Nadine de Klerk, Quinton de Kock, Rassie van der Dussen, Reeza Hendricks, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Sune Luus, Tabraiz Shamzi, Temba Bavuma, Trisha Chetty, Tumi Sekhukhune

Read their full statement below:

As Proteas cricketers, we are proud to be representatives of South Africa. We have reached the pinnacle of our playing careers and we strive for excellence every time we walk onto the field. 

We play for every South African. This year has been challenging. Covid has already cost our teams tours to the West Indies, Sri Lanka and England, and we are all hoping that the Proteas Men we will be able to commence the international season against England in the summer.

However, as Proteas players, both men and women, we are concerned about the future of our game. At Board and Operational level, Cricket South Africa has lurched from crisis to crisis over the past year. Issues such as suspensions, dismissals, resignations, forensic audits, confidential leaks, litigation and financial mismanagement have dominated the cricket headlines. This is happening at a time when we are having challenging conversations about transformation, and in an environment where the financial viability of the game is under major threat.

High standards are expected of us as players. To succeed as Proteas teams, we know we have to put aside personal differences and work together. We require the same of our administrators. Politics and self-interest appear to trump cricket imperatives and good governance. Decisions must be made that are in the best interests of cricket, failing which the game we love may be irreparably damaged in this country. The Proteas teams must be strong, the domestic structure must be strong, and the transformation pipeline must be strong – we demand that this be the focus of the CSA Board and Operational Team.

The CSA AGM scheduled for 5 September 2020 has now been postponed. This may be the last chance we have to change direction and save the game. As Proteas we demand that all stakeholders heed our sincere plea. 

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