CSA appoints three-man committee to deal with coronavirus issues

18 March 2020 - 15:05
By Khanyiso Tshwaku
Acting CEO of Cricket South Africa Jacques Faul at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14.
Image: Bertram Malgas/Gallo Images Acting CEO of Cricket South Africa Jacques Faul at Newlands Cricket Ground on December 14.

Cricket South Africa’s acting chief executive officer Dr Jacques Faul said the organisation has set up a three-man executive committee to deal with any immediate novel coronavirus (COVID- 19)-related issues.

South Africa’s men’s ODI team returned on Wednesday morning from their aborted tour of India while the domestic cricket season has been halted for 60 days.

The Australian women’s T20 team that was due to tour the country in the aftermath of their T20 World Cup success‚ also pulled out of coming to South Africa because of the coronavirus fears.

“The CSA board has set up a three-man exco made up of board members to speed up decision-making. They’ve made money available should the coronavirus need to be addressed with immediate expenses‚” Faul said.

“There will be a strategy rolled out for all staff working in cricket that’ll be done this week. This is a serious matter and we have to safeguard as many people as possible.”

With Proteas chief medical officer Dr Shuaib Manjra saying the ODI team will be self-isolating for 14 days‚ Faul said CSA was in a fortunate position that the domestic and international season were about to end.

The India ODI series was going to the SA’s last international engagement for the 2019/20 summer.

The now-canned Momentum 1-Day Cup was at the play-off stage while there were two rounds remaining in the Four-Day Franchise series.

The semi-professional three-day and ODI tournaments were also in their final stages.

Faul said they’re not safe from the expected final impacts that come with the virus.

“We’re fortunate with the timing because we’re at the end of the season and there’s no incoming tour for quite some time and during the winter. It hasn’t impacted on us that much financially for now‚” Faul said.

“We have to take into account the world and the changing financial dynamics. We’re being protected a bit‚ but we are doing scenario planning‚ but we don’t want to panic or look too far down the road because we need data to react immediately.”

The enforced curtailment of the domestic season means CSA now needs to decide who wins which tournament or whether they’ll be voided.

The Lions are at the top of the Four-Day Franchise Series while the Dolphins and the Lions were the top two Momentum 1-Day Cup sides.

KwaZulu-Natal Coastal and Eastern Province headed the respective CSA 3-Day Provincial Challenge pools while Free State and the Northern Cape are top of the respective CSA 1-Day Provincial Challenge pools.

Faul said they still have time to make those decisions‚ where CSA’s acting director of cricket Graeme Smith being part of the decision-making process.

“We had to make an immediate call but we have a bit more time to decide in terms of how we redistribute prize-money and how do we award winners. The immediate call was necessary because we were in the play-off phase but we give all the difficult passes to Graeme Smith nowadays‚” Faul said.