JOHANNESBURG: The ICC on Tuesday said it will not interfere in the governance crisis that surrounds South Africa cricket until requested by the country board, after three national team captains expressed concerns about a possible suspension by the game’s global governing body.
The three spinners Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma and Dane van Niekerk have signed a joint statement expressing their concerns before the ICC statement comes as a relief.
“The ICC urges Members to work with governments to resolve issues. Not all government intervention is problematic and for the ICC to get involved requires a formal complaint from our Members that it is unnecessary,” he said apex body in a statement.
“Should that be the case we will evaluate the situation on the basis of the facts provided and design an appropriate approach.”
An ICC source said that Cricket South Africa (CSA) has not yet reached a position requiring the intervention of the apex body.
“The NMW does not want to press the panic button again and wants them to resolve the matter themselves,” said the source.
“We are not saying that government intervention in this case is problematic or not. It is a general view as to the process we follow.
“When the government gives funds etc under certain conditions that is also called government intervention.”
Earlier, players feared that if the current dilemma is not resolved soon, South Africa may not be able to participate in the ICC T20 World Cup, to be held in India in October-November.
“At a time when we should be passionate about the future, we have to worry about (the game’s) future,” they said.
“The Proteas Men’s team has an ICC World T20 event in November. The current state of cricket administration is undermining our preparation in this regard. It may even result in our suspension of this event if the ICC decides to stop South Africa. ”
The dilemma between the Members’ Council (MC) of CSA and its Provisional Board (IB), which was expected to be resolved at a Special General Meeting (SGM) on Saturday, ended with a secret vote by the MC who refused to accept at proposals for amendments to its Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI) to allow for an independent majority Board and an independent Chair.
Sports Minister Nathi Mthetwa has now indicated that she will step in to tackle the crisis, which has been going on for 18 months, during which time almost every major operator and the Board at CSA either step down or be dismissed.
“There will be a major government intervention in the sport, and the captains feel this could lead to the ICC stopping South Africa.
“The right to represent South Africa can be withdrawn and the ICC can suspend South African Cricket.
“These results will in turn affect missions, broadcast rights and sponsorship deals. Ultimately, the financial viability of the game will suffer and cricket at all levels will be severely prejudiced,” said the players .
“The Members’ Council has now acted contrary to the Minister’s wishes, the Nicholson Recommendations, the King IV Governance principles, and international best practice – how can this be in the best interests of our game?” questioned the statement.
The crisis was exacerbated when, despite an initial ruling that other participants at Saturday’s virtual meeting, including the media, had observer status only, the chairman allowed SASCOC Acting Chairman Barry Hendricks to address the meeting.
Hendricks advised the meeting against accepting the MOI because he said it must first be approved by SASCOC as the bodybuilder for every sport in the country.
It also announced a major threat that without this CSA could risk losing its national colors and that the participation of the Proteas women’s squad, who qualified for the Commonwealth Games, could be at risk.
Chair of CSA IB, Dr Stavros Nicolaou, expressed his disappointment after the meeting.