Catastrophic cricket crisis averted … for now

South African cricket has found a last-minute solution to avoid catastrophe, but there’s still more work to do to save the game completely.

South African cricket stepped back from the brink of an international crisis when officials announced that the differences between the two rival factions battling for governance of the game had been resolved.

In a joint statement, Cricket South Africa’s members’ council and interim board announced that agreement had been reached on a new governance model.

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The agreement came two days after the country’s sports minister Nathi Mthethwa gave notice that he would withdraw recognition of Cricket South Africa, a move which could have resulted in CSA being suspended from the International Cricket Council.

The ICC has a clause in its constitution requiring member countries to manage their affairs autonomously and ensure there is no government interference.

At the time of Mthethwa’s threat, chairman of the interim board, Stavros Nicolaou, said: “It is indeed a very sad day for our country, for cricket, for the millions of fans who love the game and the sponsors who have committed to cricket and its grassroots development.

“But it is a specifically sad day for the players, staff and others whose livelihood are at stake.”

However, according to the recently-released statement, a meeting of CSA’s two factions resolved that a new memorandum of incorporation would be adopted within 48 hours in terms of South Africa’s Companies Act.

“The members’ council and the board are very pleased to announce that a crisis has been averted and agreement has been reached on all those outstanding issues,” said the joint statement.

Mthethwa’s threat, which was due to be made official on Friday, followed the failure of the members’ council to endorse the principle of a board comprised of a majority of independent directors at a special general meeting on April 17.

The latest statement said details of the new governance structure would be made public when the legal process had been completed.


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