Often in the thick of things when it comes to controversy, the South African cricket team has been facing a lot of scandals in the past five years. The Cricket South Africa Board (CSA) has now been suspended for a month by the South African Sports Confederation (SASCOC). According to Ravi Govender, acting chief of SASCOC, this step has been taken to ensure that there is no negativity or issues in governance when it comes to the CSA Board. This step has been taken so that the board can be more efficient and effective in the future.
CSA has been banned for one month, while SASCOC investigates its conduct. This is following a report regarding conduct in the organization. According to reports, ever since Chris Nenzani took over as president of the board, the atmosphere has been one of chaos and instability. Nenzani’s dictatorial behavior also led to CSA having four CEOs in three years. Moreover, the board could not launch its T20 Global League. Moreover, the board experienced huge financial losses and faced serious corruption charges. Amid rumors of racism and seat-splitting, the president had to resign recently.
As recently as last week, around 30 players from the women’s and men’s national teams signed a letter that criticized the board after CSA’s annual general meeting was postponed. The SASCOC finally stepped in and took this radical decision. The CSA is going to have their hands tied very soon. SASCOC is in the process of setting up a task force to investigate the administrative and financial irregularities.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) forbids interference from the government, which jeopardizes the participation of the national team in international tournaments. The ICC has not taken a stand so far, however, since the charges are so serious, it may decide to dig deeper to get to the crux of the matter.
If the board is de-recognized by the ICC, it will stand suspended, something that has happened in the past, during the apartheid era. Zimbabwe faced the same fate last year when ICC suspended the board as it felt that the board was unable to keep politics interfering from the sport. If suspended, a country’s funding is ceased and it cannot participate in international tournaments.
When it comes to the IPL tournament, any contract for the IPL is a tripartite agreement. This agreement takes place between the player, the BCCI, and the concerned player’s home board. This means that if a series is bilateral and not affiliated to the ICC, a player will be able to participate. This means, that since IPL is regulated by the BCCI, South African players will be able to participate in it. This can be hampered only if BCCI decides against it which does not seem likely. According to an ICC official, the final say regarding players in the IPL lies with CSA. ICC will not object as IPL is a domestic tournament.
Players like Keven Pietersen expressed shock and empathy when asked about the suspension. Stating that the whole incident is catastrophic, Pietersen stated that sports uniteSouth Africa and a horror show like this is destroying the sport.