The board and members council of Cricket South Africa (CSA) have decided that, in a change of their constitution, president Chris Nenzani should have his term extended by another year, it was confirmed at the AGM in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Board vice-president Beresford Williams said that in a time of transition and uncertainty, it had been decided that Nenzani should continue for another year for the sake of stability.
That means the 56-year-old school teacher from the Eastern Cape will be president for seven years, longer than any other bearer of that office.
“The board and the members council agreed that we would ask Chris to stay on because there are a number of changes about our cricket at the moment, we’re looking at our whole model and making fundamental changes, and we felt we needed him to share his expertise and wisdom. It was a unanimous decision. We are fully confident in the leadership we have, they have led well and the results and outcomes have been pretty good,” Williams said after the AGM at the O.R. Tambo International Airport.
Nenzani said that he would point out what his successes have been in the last six years at the 2020 AGM.
“I will answer that question at next year’s AGM. But I serve at the behest of the members, and if they come calling then I will answer. But I never campaign for leadership. The reason given to me was stability, CSA is going through a lot of changes and if they feel I am the right man then I will accept that request. The members have the ability to remove me if it becomes necessary,” Nenzani said.
The fact that Nenzani serves on the International Cricket Council board of directors and is chairman of the Future Tours Programme and Finance committees, is perhaps the real reason for his extension because South Africa can ill-afford to lose that leverage on a global level.
In his president’s address, Nenzani panned those critics who have claimed CSA are bankrupt.
“There are those CSA bashers who peddle the narrative that we are bankrupt, but our only crime is that we were transparent and honest. We did our own sustainability analysis which showed us that if we did not do anything, there would be a R654 million hole. We said that, we raised the alarm, whatever the populist narrative says,” Nenzani said.
Mohamed Iqbal Khan, the chairman of the finance and commercial committee, posted financial statements showing a R200 million loss for the last financial year.
The fact that CSA still have R1.18 billion in assets, of which R850 million is reserves in cash, and that that projected loss of R654 million by the end of 2022 has now been reduced to R120 million, will be some salve to the wound.
But, worryingly, at the end of the four-year cycle between 2016 and 2019, CSA have only managed to break even.
And not even Nenzani is expecting the Mzansi Super League to help the situation in the short term.
“It would be very unfair to think that the second instalment of the MSL is going to make money, it took the IPL 10 years to start making money. At worst, we believe the MSL will start returning a profit in the year five or six, but for now it is unrealistic and irresponsible, in fact very presumptuous, to think it will make money,” Nenzani said.