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Sun Apr 20 15:38:55 SAST 2014

Will Cricket SA play ball?

Firdose Moonda | 09 January, 2013 06:530 Comments

WELCOME to a new cricketing year. Given how well it started on the field it would seem 12 months of good times await. If only. Rather, it is a case of welcome to the same old Cricket South Africa problems.

The change in the calendar has not prompted a resolution to pursue peaceful solutions at administrative level. Instead the opposite has happened, as political jockeying has been taken to a new level in the lead-up to today's board meeting.

D-day has arrived. The suits are due to decide how they will restructure themselves. As a result, some of them are at risk of losing their positions.

If they chose to honour the recommendations of the Nicholson report - which they appear obliged to do - five of the 11 directors must be independent, Norman Arendse will chair the new board and more than half the current provincial presidents will lose their positions.

If they give in to South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the chairman will not be an independent and there is more chance of the provincial presidents staying on.

But the repercussions of going against the minister's instructions to obey Nicholson could cost them in the long run.

Either way, some of the provincial presidents may no longer have the advantage that comes with being on the Cricket South Africa board. They will not lose much money but they will lose reputation, trips overseas and rubbing shoulders with the who's who - things which are important for networking.

The panic that has set in has resulted in several contradictory whispers as members of the outgoing board try to hang on.

In the past week, journalists have been told contrasting things about the important issues affecting Cricket South Africa.

Some board members have claimed that Thami Tsolekile's non-selection is a racist plot by the highest powers and will be escalated to parliament.

Others say it will simply result in legislation on the number of black African players in the starting XI at national and franchise level.

The first group of board members are so unhappy with the allegations that acting president Willie Basson was involved in the apartheid-era chemical warfare programme that it will ask him to step down today.

Others, such as Northerns' president Vincent Sinovich, confirmed he is one of those involved in changing Basson's mind just as he was about to hit the send button on his resignation letter on Sunday.

Some board members claim they have not seen sponsorship agreements amounting to millions of rands. They say they were not briefed on appointments made by Cricket South Africa, but others affirm that they ratified those employment decisions.

It is no surprise that the divisions are black and white. In a country where the power base is fractured, that is expected. But the leaders should look to heal those wounds, not deepen them for selfish ends.

Cricket South Africa's board may suffer the consequences of its narrow-mindedness if the overhaul takes place as planned.

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