The South African Cricketers’ Association on Tuesday rejected a move by the embattled board of Cricket South Africa to find a solution to an issue which is the subject of ongoing legal action.
SACA repeated its call for the board to resign as the rift between players and board showed no signs of being healed, despite the suspension of chief executive Thabang Moroe and the appointment of Jacques Faul as interim chief executive, Graeme Smith as interim director of cricket and Mark Boucher as head coach of the national team.
CSA announced on Monday that David Richardson, the former chief executive of the International Cricket Council, had been appointed to form a steering committee to make recommendations on the future structure of South African domestic cricket.
Richardson said on Monday night that his involvement was “a genuine commitment to try and help out” – but SACA said it would not participate unless a previous decision by CSA was formally withdrawn.
CSA decided in April to radically restructure the domestic game, scrapping the current franchise system and reducing the number of teams playing professional cricket. The decision is the subject of an ongoing court action by SACA.
“Although CSA has announced that SACA will be part of this committee we have yet to be formally contacted,” said SACA chief executive Tony Irish.
“SACA will not participate in this committee until the existing restructure decision is formally withdrawn.”
Irish said the latest move by CSA was an admission that the original decision had been taken without proper investigation and consultation.
“It is therefore obvious to us that the restructure decision must be withdrawn and the court case settled with us first,” he said.
Irish said SACA wanted to find solutions, “both to the financial challenges which cricket now faces and to what the domestic structure should be and we have no problem in sitting down with the likes of David Richardson and Graeme Smith to find these. However, this time around the process needs to be done properly”.
“We also again reiterate our call for the leadership of the CSA board to accept accountability for the position in which cricket has been placed. We repeat our call for that leadership to step down,” said Irish.
The board of CSA met on Monday and seemingly again resisted calls to resign. Three of the original 12 directors have resigned in the past two weeks. The only announcement following Monday’s meeting was about Richardson’s appointment.
“I think there is an acknowledgement from the board that Cricket South Africa cricket has got itself into a bit of a hole and they are looking around for people who can maybe help,” Richardson, a former South African Test wicketkeeper, told journalists after the Mzansi Super League final on Monday.