Jacques Faul: CSA ‘match ready’ for the England series, but ...

New acting CEO of Cricket South Africa Jacques Faul at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14.
New acting CEO of Cricket South Africa Jacques Faul at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14.
Image: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images

Despite all the boardroom imbroglio Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) boss believes the organisation can still put on a show when the Proteas start their hostilities with England on Boxing Day.

“We are match ready in terms of hosting the matches against England,” interim chief executive Jacques Faul assured.

He is well aware, however, that it will be difficult to remove the pong left by the boardroom from the four Test venues — Centurion, Newlands, Port Elizabeth and the Wanderers.

“Tickets have been selling well. There is still negative reporting in terms of our governance structures,” he said.

“The council has to deal with that. That still overshadows everything we do. I’ve learnt from 2012, operationally there is only so much you can do.”

Faul believes the men who have been assembled to turn things around on the pitch possess the experience and the tools but concedes “we are probably not as confident as we can be”.

“We will come out swinging as hard as we can because we are proud South Africans. England is good opposition and the crowd will come out to support us.

“Hopefully we can turn it around. We should not look for distractions but fix what is not right.”

He said the series against England will only be a welcome distraction from the boardroom if the Proteas win the respective series.

For confidence to be restored CSA will, however, have to undertake some structural changes to the way the game is governed. The players, sponsors and even some affiliates have demanded all board members resign.

Faul, however, pointed out that the council members remain CSA’s most potent executive authority and that board members who are provincial presidents will still have their say on that body.

The number of members on the board and the percentage drawn from independent ranks are likely to become a prickly issue. Faul believes things might have been different now had CSA adopted in full the recommendations of the report tabled by Judge Chris Nicholson in the wake of the organisation’s bonus scandal seven years ago.

“It was almost as if Nicholson was a clear road map for us,” said Faul. “The whole idea then was to have nine independent directors. That is interesting because it is different to the two-tier governing structure we have now.

“Maybe looking back we should have implemented Nicholson as it was suggested. We tried a six-six split with an independent chairperson but that wasn’t palatable for Sascoc [the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee] at the time.

“We had to go seven-five. Then you end up with two tiers with seven people sitting both on the board and the members’ council. That is what has become problematic because someone might get fired and then goes into a stronger system or forum.”

After the resignation of two independent directors from the board CSA have eight remaining board members of which two are independent.

Four members of the remaining board also serve on the members’ council because they are provincial presidents. Central Gauteng president Jack Madiseng, who resigned from the board last week, curiously, still sits on the members council.

Faul hopes the management review that will form part of an independent audit of CSA that is due to start next month will provide some guidance for the way forward.

“This independent review will be under such a magnifying glass I don’t think anybody will put their signature to it if they haven’t turned every stone,” said Faul.

“People would be satisfied if it is a reputable independent organisation. I don’t think the intention is to cover up. Otherwise you would have had an internal one, or not one at all.”

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