Khaya Zondo elected cricket players' union president to replace Omphile Ramela

Khaya Zondo has been a professional cricketer for the past 13 years.
Khaya Zondo has been a professional cricketer for the past 13 years.
Image: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

Proteas and Dolphins batsman Khaya Zondo has replaced Omphile Ramela as the president of the South African Cricketers Association (Saca).

The 30-year-old Durban-born Zondo was elected into office at Saca’s annual general meeting on December 4 but the organisation only made the outcome of the elections public 10 days after voting took place.

Saca‚ which is essentially the players’ union‚ said Zondo was elected by the organisation’s executive committee during a meeting it said was also attended by representatives from each domestic team.

Zondo will be Saca president for the next two years and replaces Ramela‚ who had to step down last month after he accepted an appointment by sports minister Nathi Mthethwa to serve on the Cricket South Africa (CSA) interim board.

Zondo‚ the son of deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo‚ takes up a position held previously by Robin Peterson and JP Duminy before Ramela.

“It is an honour to be elected President of Saca‚” said Zondo.

The right-hander has been a professional cricketer for 13 years across all three formats and has been a member of the Saca executive committee for the past three years.

He immediately laid out his vision for the organisation during his two-year stay in office.

“We face massive challenges with Covid‚ the domestic restructure‚ transformation‚ and the financial security of the game‚” said Zondo‚ who made his Proteas limited overs debut against India in Centurion in 2018.

“As an organisation‚ Saca will continue to confront these challenges with the best interests of players and the game at heart.

“Saca belongs to the players‚ its strength lies in its diversity and ability to unify players.”

Saca CEO Andrew Breetzke paid tribute to former president Ramela who he says selflessly served the organisation over the years.

“Omphile led Saca as president over a tumultuous four-year period when the relationship between Saca and Cricket South Africa was at its most challenging‚” said Breetzke.

“During the GLT20 contract dispute‚ MOU18 negotiation‚ and the 2019/2020 CSA crises Omphile stood on principle in protecting the interests of our members. He has worked tirelessly for the player cause.”

Ramela was appointed on the CSA interim board by Mthethwa along with eight others and the minister tasked the team with restoring public and stakeholder confidence in the administration of the organisation.

But Ramela faces expulsion from the CSA interim board after a resolution was passed by the members to sideline him from the activities and meetings of the board.

Ramela was deemed to be obstructive by interim board chairman Justice Zak Yacoob and difficult to work with.

Titans all-rounder Grant Thomson was elected onto the executive committee.

The committee is now made up of president Zondo‚ CEO Breetzke‚ Farhaan Behardien and Mignon du Preez.

The organisation said Temba Bavuma and Craig Alexander‚ who served on the executive committee before the annual meeting‚ have joined as co-opted members.