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Cricket needs action by people of principle

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The first Test against England is now just 18 days away, and as we write there is no official Proteas coach, nor selectors, or director of cricket

THE team of Jacques Faul and Graeme Smith could be just the right combination to clean up the mess that South African cricket finds itself in at the moment.

It has been a week of utter and daily chaos, which culminated on Saturday in the suspension of Cricket South Africa chief executive Thabang Moroe and the appointment of Faul as acting chief executive officer.

Former Proteas captain Smith is set to sign on as Director of Cricket.

Sponsors have deserted the brand, the media was shockingly treated in the whole “accreditation saga”, the players’ union was angry enough to contemplate a strike, three independent directors resigned the timeline of trouble goes on and on.

To make matters even worse, Faul and Smith do not have time on their side, and that is putting it mildly.

The first Test against England is now just 18 days away, and as we write there is no official Proteas coach, nor selectors, or director of cricket.

So why do we say Faul and Smith could be the team to turn it around?

For one thing, Faul is known to have a cool head.

In 2011 he had a tough job on his hands when he was asked to stand in as chief executive for the disgraced Gerald Majola, but he implemented the Nicholson report with aplomb.

The decision by Standard Bank not to renew their sponsorship is a huge blow, but the response from Faul at Saturday’s press conference was encouraging. He said: “Corporate SA is a small world and they all talk to each other.

“I can understand why they didn’t renew, but it is a responsibility to engage with them. We have to listen to them and see how we can fix it.”

As for Smith, we all know that courage and determination was what he was all about as captain of the Proteas, and we can expect him to bring those same qualities to the job of Director of Cricket.

It is essential that Faul and Smith be allowed to make whatever changes they see fit.

The game of cricket needs strong and immediate action by people of principle.