Pressure on CSA increases: 'It’s only a matter of time before we garner enough support'

Chris Nenzani (Cricket SA, President) during the CSA media briefing at Inter-Continental Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport on December 07, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Chris Nenzani (Cricket SA, President) during the CSA media briefing at Inter-Continental Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport on December 07, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Johan Rynners/Gallo Images

It’s only a matter of time before the embattled but defiant Cricket South Africa (CSA) board is dismantled and replaced with an interim structure as more provinces join calls for its disbandment.

The noose tightened at a special council meeting at Newlands on Wednesday after Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) officially called for the CSA board to step down with immediate effect.

“The undoubted reputational damage suffered by Cricket South Africa as a result of the current turmoil requires the situation to be addressed immediately‚” WPCA said on Thursday in calling for the removal of the CSA board.

WPCA’s decision has been supported by the boards of Gauteng (both Central Gauteng Lions and Northerns Cricket Union)‚ KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Province Cricket while the smaller unions in Limpopo‚ Mpumalanga and North West have adopted a wait and see approach.

A campaign to lobby the smaller provinces to join the chorus is well underway‚ according to an insider who is a leader of the one of the provinces.

“The bigger provinces with a lot bigger influence are very clear to say that the board must go‚” said the insider.

“With Gauteng‚ Western Province‚ Eastern Province and KZN on board‚ it will not be that difficult to convince other small provinces to speak and join those who are calling for the removal of the CSA board.

“It’s only a matter of time before we garner enough support and as soon as we secure that then we will have the Members Council meet so that the board can be removed.”

The Members’ Coucil‚ a 14-member strong body‚ is the only structure that has the authority to remove the CSA board.

The council needs to have a minimum of eight votes out of 14 to pass a resolution to disband the board.

With their pulling power as provinces that generate the most revenue and boast Test match venues in the country‚ it should be relatively easy for Gauteng‚ Western Province‚ KZN and Eastern Cape to convince other small provinces to heed their call.

Another source who is a president of one of the smaller provinces told TimesLIVE that his union has not decided on its position.

“We will go with whatever is good for the game in cricket in the country‚” the insider said.

Calls for the removal of the CSA board continue to grow louder with each passing day and the situation could soon become untenable as key sponsors and the players’ union‚ the SA Cricketers Association‚ having already made their positions clear that the board must immediately resign.

Leading sponsors gave CSA ultimatums last week to remove the board or face termination of the multi-million sponsorship contracts.

Major sponsors Standard Bank have already said they will not renew their R100m-a-year sponsorship when the season comes to an end in April next year. Sunfoil and Momentum have issued ultimatums for the CSA board to be removed or walk out.

“The threats from sponsors to walk out on CSA should be the final nail in the coffin of the current board‚” said one source.

“If you look at Standard Bank‚ they bring R100m odd‚ Momentum R30m round about there and the Willowton Group (Sunfoil) is also in the millions a year.

"I am just not sure about the exact figures.

"If all these companies walk away‚ that’s almost half a billion that is going to be lost and CSA cannot afford that.”

Amid the storm‚ the reeling CSA board has defiantly maintained that it receives majority support from member affiliates.

But it is gradually disintegrating with four of its 12 members resigning in a space of a week as the organisation lurched from one crisis to the next.

Amid the storm‚ CSA has called for calm.

SACA are also dragging CSA to court over the a proposed restructuring move that will see the franchise doubled to 12.

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