In a statement released through the SA Cricketers’ Association the players also admonished CSA’s Members Council, for not acting in the best interests of the sport in SA.
SOUTH Africa’s cricketers have apologised to the sport’s sponsors for the actions of Cricket SA’s administrators, saying officials have “undermined and betrayed your commitment to the sport.”
In a statement released through the SA Cricketers’ Association – the players union – and signed by its president, Khaya Zondo, and the three Proteas captains; Dane van Niekerk, Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma, the players also admonished CSA’s Members Council, for not acting in the best interests of the sport in SA.
Players around SA are understood to be very concerned following Sunday’s pronouncement by sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa that he could ban CSA as the official governing entity for cricket, thus jeopardising the players’ opportunity to represent SA.
Yesterday’s statement outlines how government intervention would have “dire consequences,” for cricket. “Ultimately the financial viability of the game will suffer and cricket at all levels will be severely prejudiced,” the players said.
Mthethwa wrote to CSA’s Members Council asking it to reply to him by 5pm today, explaining why he should not invoke his powers to suspend their funding from government and ban them as cricket’s governing authority in SA. The Members Council – CSA’s most powerful decision-making body, comprising the 14 provincial presidents – met yesterday to consider Mthethwa’s demand.
Yesterday’s meeting followed a more than three-hour meeting on Sunday, in which the Council also considered Mthethwa’s decision to invoke his powers under the National Sports and Recreation Act.
No decision was taken on Sunday, with the presidents opting to go back to their affiliates. The chairman of the Members Council, Rihan Richards described the matter as “very, very sensitive”.
“There are a lot of factors that need to be considered, and those could be different for different members,” Richards said. Following Saturday’s Special General Meeting where a vote to implement a new Memorandum of Incorporation failed, Mthethwa announced on Sunday that he was invoking his powers under the Act.
That vote, held in secret after a request by Eastern Province president Donovan May, who got backing from Daniel Govender (KwaZulu-Natal), John Mogodi (Limpopo), Gibson Molale (Northern Cape) and Simphiwe Ndzundzu (Border), failed to get the 75% majority needed to pass the motion to allow the MOI to be implemented.
One section of the Members Council – in favour of the changes to the MOI, which would lead to a majority of independents on the new board – have been left flabbergasted by the stance of their colleagues.
One provincial president, speaking on condition of anonymity said: “There is no way of getting away from it, having a majority of non-independents on the board has put South African cricket in the position where it was facing all these scandals. The crisis have resulted from that, and you can prove it. It’s maybe the time to try something new.”