Cricket South Africa (CSA) has had a bad week with the crisis deepening on three fronts.
They have had to postpone the Annual General Meeting that was to be held on Saturday. The reason given for this is the need to re-align with the Nicholson report of 2012. One of the reasons why CSA find themselves in this position is because their management structure is too complicated. There are two governing bodies consisting of the General Council with all 14 provincial presidents, and then the Board of Directors consisting of seven provincial presidents and five independent directors.
Studying the list of people who serve on the CSA Board it is clear to see that both the independents and presidents have no history in the game with regard to passion, experience, understanding and acumen, and are not equipped to run an international sport. Cricket needs to be managed by cricketing people with integrity who care for the welfare and future of the game like in years gone by. There is no need to corporatize cricket’s administration with directors outside the game, a company secretary, etc. Cricket is a sport whose shareholding is its fans and their dividend is the success of the team.
This week CSA has been bullied by the Minster of Sport about too many white people in key positions and have announced that they will no longer be employing white consultants. This is in reaction to CSA appointing Graeme Smith as Director of Cricket, Mark Boucher as Head Coach and Jacques Kallis as batting consultant during a crisis before the England tour in December 2019. All three are greats of the modern game and can make a massive contribution to ensuring that the Proteas are a world-class team – if allowed to. Between the three they have played 1,333 international matches for South Africa and scored 53,599 international runs.
For the moment Smith and Boucher are safe, but Kallis will no longer be employed under the new policy. Kallis is probably the world’s greatest cricketer of the professional era and historically probably in the top ten cricketers who have ever lived. He is spoken about in the same breath as Don Bradman, Gary Sobers and Shane Warne. He has just become the fourth South African cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
CSA wants to deny future cricketers of all races the opportunity to work with a true great. He is a man who can develop the careers of the next generation of South African cricketers because he knows what it takes to become a great. Kallis is not the loser, as he does not need the money or the position, nor is CSA the loser because quite frankly they do not care about cricket. The real losers are the next generation of South African cricketers of all races. CSA have finally proved that they are not interested in promoting the game of cricket and making the Proteas world-class.
Thirty Proteas men and women players have signed a memorandum highlighting their concerns that the CSA Board is not functional and needs to change before it is beyond repair. Unfortunately, this will fall on deaf ears because all that CSA is concerned with is being politically correct and social engineering.
The South African game is being destroyed by politics, factionalism, egos, agendas and people who are not capable of administering an international sport. There is currently no leadership to take the game forward, to resolve the problems and to push back on unrealistic government demands.
What does the future hold for South African cricket?