ICC and players' union Saca respond to sports minister's plans to intervene at embattled Cricket SA

Saca CEO Andrew Breetzke.
Saca CEO Andrew Breetzke.
Image: Ashley Vlotman / Gallo Images

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the SA Cricketers’ Association (Saca) have had different but equally telling responses to the sports ministry’s planned intervention at Cricket SA (CSA).

CSA has been given until October 27 by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa to get its house in order.

Predictably‚ the players' union is incensed with CSA after its continued diffidence. Saca CEO Andrew Breetzke said the continued existence of the embattled cricket organisation's crippled board was doing the game more harm than good in SA.

England are set to tour SA in November, pending governmental approval‚ and Breetzke said CSA’s board issues would put the players’ livelihoods in jeopardy.

“Cricket is in an existential crisis and the intervention of government will result in the ICC reviewing CSA’s position as an ICC member‚ and will furthermore jeopardise the England tour scheduled for next month. Players will suffer‚ development will suffer and the future of the game will be prejudiced‚” he said.

“However‚ as has been recognised by DSAC [the department of sports, arts and culture] and Sascoc [the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee]‚ the current board has no credibility to resolve the crisis‚ and it is clear that the current impasse between the government and CSA will not be resolved until such time as the board stands down.

"We therefore implore the CSA board to stand down and thereby take a decision that will be in the best interests of cricket.”

The ICC‚ while not known to take strong action with regards to governmental interference‚ is likely to take a dim view of the ministry’s decision to step in.

Article 2.4 (D) of the ICC constitution stipulates that each member must at all times “manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government (or other public or quasi-public body) interference in its governance‚ regulation and/or administration of cricket in its cricket playing country (including in operational matters‚ in the selection and management of teams‚ and in the appointment of coaches or support personnel).”

The ICC confirmed it had received a letter from the sports ministry but encouraged dialogue between the respective entities.

“The ICC has received a letter from the ministry of sport‚ arts and culture in SA giving notice of potential intervention into the matters of CSA. At this stage‚ no complaint has been received from CSA regarding government intervention and members are encouraged to resolve matters directly with their governments. We will continue to monitor the situation‚” the ICC statement said.