The chairman of the Interim Board of Cricket South Africa, Dr Stavros Nicolaou, said on Thursday that the public statements made by a handful of unions supporting the Interim Board and the principle of a majority of independent directors as well as an independent chair, has allowed him to foster some hope that the disaster facing cricket in this country can be averted.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa is busy gazetting punitive action against CSA, which will probably involve their recognition being withdrawn, following their Members Council’s failure to ratify a new constitution that implements governance reforms centred around having a majority of independent directors.
But this week, the Central Gauteng, North-West, Easterns, Free State, Northerns and Mpumalanga cricket unions have all come out in support of the amendments proposed by the Interim Board.
“I see a number of affiliates have come out in support, so I’m really hopeful that the Members Council can still pass a special resolution agreeing to the reforms,” Nicolau said on Thursday.
“Maybe reality has started to hit home, because the alternative to not approving the MoI is too horrible to contemplate. We have a narrow window of opportunity at the moment to avert the crisis.”
Nicolau continued: “I have still got my doubts because of how things changed suddenly before the Special General Meeting, and I have a suspicion that not everything we have discussed with the Members Council working group has been passed on because there have been so many disjointed statements coming from them.
“But I am more focused on the future now, and if we need to communicate ourselves with all 14 provincial presidents then we are happy to do that.”
Nicolaou said those who truly care about the game would back the changes in governance as a matter of course.
“The cricket fraternity accepted the implementation of the Nicholson recommendations and the Members Council did so again when they accepted the mandate of the Interim Board. Not a single person involved in proper governance would question having a majority independent board.
“Cricket’s track record has not been good with a majority of non-independents, so why would you want the perpetuation of a system that doesn’t work?
“It really hurts our image as a country and it’s a crying shame about administrators that embarrass the game. There are many good things going on in cricket at the moment and we should be focused on that and congratulating them,” Nicolaou said.