Time for Cricket SA to put sport first

Cricket lovers have been calling on the government to intervene and arrest the slide as financial partners withdraw in droves in discontent over shenanigans at the body.
Cricket lovers have been calling on the government to intervene and arrest the slide as financial partners withdraw in droves in discontent over shenanigans at the body.
Image: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE

The appearance of Cricket SA in parliament this week offered interesting scenarios.

For a while now cricket lovers have been lamenting the dwindling state of the sport’s administration as its head honchos are seemingly treating the sport as their own.

What is most interesting in this cricket saga has been the silence of sports minister Nathi Mthethwa despite matters spiralling out of control day in and day out. From the suspension and ultimately firing of acting CEO Thabang Moroe to the sudden resignation of president Chris Nenzani, Mthethwa has remained tight-lipped.

Cricket lovers have been calling on the government to intervene and arrest the slide as financial partners withdraw in droves in discontent over shenanigans at the body.

When the CSA hierarchy was finally invited to parliament, all that had been feared to be the case exploded into the open, with several jaw-dropping revelations.

Uppermost has been the forensic report that CSA is apparently reluctant to release, opting only to make available segments, which drew the ire of parliament’s sport and recreation portfolio committee chair Beauty Dlulane.

Dlulane was scathing when she demanded that the full content of the report be released by Friday afternoon.

“It’s the first time we’ve dealt with such a cricketing matter. This one is in the public‚ even though not in its complete or original form,” Dlulane was quoted as saying.

“While we can’t get it as it is‚ we also have to ask as to what are they hiding because they said there was a CEO who was involved in this.”

CSA’s action may have surprised parliament but sports lovers have endured this torture for a while now, with cries for Mthethwa’s intervention falling on deaf ears.

While administrative bungles have taken centre stage, development at grass-roots level has suffered with transformation lagging far behind. This anomaly was also highlighted by parliament.

“They don’t have the interests of the players at heart,” Dlulane said.

“What hurts me is that with these people‚ it’s about the money. We’ve told these people that we love sport‚ all of it and there are kids who need opportunities to be created for them. When you go to rural areas‚ you see kids batting on sandy and unfit grounds‚ while this group here are undecided.”

While this will not solve cricket problems in the country overnight, at least this is a step in the right direction.

We can only hope that those tasked with handling administration of the sport will put its interest first.

Otherwise this is just not cricket.



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