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No CSA heads will roll yet

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This, in spite of the cancellation of the T20 Global League, which cost the organisation in the region of R340-million.

For the time being at least no further heads will roll from within Cricket South Africa’s administration following the failure to host the T20 Global League, which cost the organisation in the region of R340-million.

Cricket SA’s Board of Directors met this week to discuss two reports it had commissioned following that postponement of the T20GL. According to CSA’s president, Chris Nenzani, “all monies have been adequately accounted for”, and no irregularities or financial mismanagement occured.

“These reconciliations will now be examined by our external auditors, Nkonki, as part of their normal audit procedures,” Nenzani said in a statement.

Cricket SA announced the postponement of the T20 Global League on October 10, following eight months of hype that included an expensive launch event held in London in July and the player auction at a swish Cape Town hotel in August. In between there were various events hosted to introduce the eight franchises. Thus far, the only head to roll is that of former CEO Haroon Lorgat, very much the face of the T20GL, who “parted ways” with CSA at the end of September.

The Board also noted that the investigations highlighted “pervasive governance lapses” related to the T20GL, which are understood to concern procurement processes and recruitment. No mention was made in the statement about the “Evaluation Committee” the Board appointed which Lorgat reported to and was supposed to be an oversight mechanism. That ‘committee” was made up of the current acting CEO Thabang Moroe, and two independent directors, Iqbal Khan and Louis von Zeuner.

Nenzani went on to add that the Board accepted responsibility for the losses “and the general disappointment of the tournament being postponed.”

“Many learnings have emanated from the findings of the internal investigation,” he said. “The CSA control environment is what stood us in good stead to date and the same standards should be applied even when we decide to embark on a ring-fenced initiative as the T20GL. We will fix these aspects with a great sense of urgency.”

Cricket SA said it remained on a solid financial footing despite the massive losses incurred by the failure to host the tournament, and included along with today’s statement a link to the Annual Report, which included the financial statement for the last financial year. Cricket SA made a loss of R159-million.

That report, released at the organisation’s AGM in September, ironically refers to“how the T20 Global League is driving the business of cricket”. That section refers to all the benefits that would exist for Cricket SA and by extension the country once the T20GL was up and running. It also mentions the local Premier Soccer League’s 2011 broadcast deal with SuperSport, which was worth R2-billion and the broadcast deal signed for the Indian Premier League, making mention of the $1.08-billion the IPL rights went for in 2008. Earlier this year a new deal was signed for the IPL, worth $2.55-billion.

It was the failure on CSA’s part to secure a broadcast deal that ultimately led to the postponement of the T20GL.

Two weeks ago, CSA reached an agreement to pay 60 percent of the salaries due to local players drafted in the T20GL in three instalments. – Stuart Hess