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Amid Chaos, South Africa’s Sports Ministry Approves England Series

South Africa’s Sports Ministry has approved Cricket South Africa (CSA) to go ahead as planned with the upcoming white-ball limited-overs series against England, later this month.

As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, the series against England comprising of 3 T20Is and as many ODIs will be played for the benefit of players and the cricket-loving public.

Cricket South Africa
Cricket South Africa. Photo Credit: CSA.

South African Cricket In Turmoil Since A Long Time

There has been turmoil in CSA since a long time now, especially regarding administrative issues and Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa is closer to intervening in the matters of the board.

He may use the National Sports and Recreation Act to step in at CSA (which could include even withdrawing funding and stripping them of their status as a nationally representative body in ICC) if the members’ council does not recognize the interim board, according to a report by ESPNCricinfo.
England vs South Africa
England vs South Africa Photo Credit: Getty Images.

England are due to travel to South Africa, and upon reaching the African country, the side will begin a 10-day quarantine. All matches will be played following strict protocols post covid-19 in a bio-secure environment in the Western Cape, with fixtures at both Newlands, Cape Town and Boland Park, Paarl.

South Africa Will Play Against England Since Country Went Into Lockdown

The series between the two countries is slated to start on November 27, and it will be the first series in South Africa since the country went into lockdown in March. This will also be the first series that the African team have had for more than seven months.

They last toured India in March for 3 ODIs, but the series was postponed after the first ODI was abandoned due to rain. Their last full-fledged series was against Australia at home for 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs.

India vs South Africa
India vs South Africa (Image Credit: Twitter)

They are also due to host the cricket teams like Sri Lanka, Australia, and Pakistan in the 2020-21 season, and these fixtures may be under threat if the members’ council does not comply with the Sports Minister.

Earlier, the country’s Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) had asked for the CSA board and executive to step aside while SASCOC conducted an inquiry into CSA’s affairs.

Star India acquires Cricket South Africa media rights till 2024
Photo Credit: CSA.
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Cricket South Africa Holds ‘Positive’ Talks With National Sports Body

Cricket South Africa has confirmed on Tuesday, they have had a positive meeting with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to address the concerns. SASCOC has suspended the board of Cricket South Africa (CSA) for a one month period, during which an investigation will be conducted on the board. The board has been under heavy criticism for malpractice and maladministration.

Also, two weeks back, 30 top players from the men’s and women’s national teams signed a letter criticizing the board for postponing CSA’s Annual General Meeting that had been scheduled for September five.

Cricket South Africa holds meeting with SASCOC:

CSA
CSA (Cricket South Africa)

The CSA has held a meeting with SASCOC and stated that they would like to find a common ground with SASCOC  for the better interests of cricket.

“The meeting presented a step forward towards a collaborative approach in the interest of good governance and executive operations,” CSA said in a statement

“Key points were identified and deliberated by the attendees … with the ultimate end goal of achieving a unified focus on the game of cricket.”

SASCOC and CSA identified things to be put in place in the meeting: SASCOC CEO

SASCOC
Image credits: Twitter.

SASCOC acting CEO Ravi Govender has stated that in the meeting with CSA they have identified the things that need to be mended and they will have a joint media briefing later on Thursday.

“We met last night, we have identified one or two things that need to be put in place and we will then hold a joint media briefing on Thursday,” he told Reuters.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), had asked the CSA board and senior executives to step aside from their roles pending an investigation into allegations of malpractice and maladministration.

The Cricket South Africa had been criticised by sponsors as well as national team players, who accused the board of “self-interest” in failing to deal adequately with the contents of a report that led to the sacking of former chief executive Thabang Moroe some nine months after he was first suspended.

The board was also criticized after they postponed the Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sept. 5 which had been due to elect a new president and senior officials after Chris Nenzani resigned last month.

Star India acquires Cricket South Africa media rights till 2024
Photo Credit: CSA.
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CSA To Take Legal Advice And Seek ‘Middle Ground’ As South Africa Government Suspends Body

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has suspended the board of Cricket South Africa (CSA) for a one month period, during which an investigation will be conducted on the board. The board has been under heavy criticism for malpractice and maladministration. Also, last week 30 top players from the men’s and women’s national teams signed a  letter criticizing the board for postponing CSA’s Annual General Meeting that had been scheduled for Sept. 5.

The CSA which is headed by former South African cricketer Graeme Smith, has been in an appalling financial situation for some time now, which has only worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith leads the CSA . Image Credit: Getty Images.

CSA seeks middle grounds with the South African government on the suspension of the board

Cricket South Africa disagrees with the South African government’s intervention into the board’s matters. They have sought to seek legal advice on the basis of SASCOC’s strike on them. However, they would like to find a common ground with SASCOC  for the better interests of cricket.

“CSA, including its Members’ Council, does not agree with the resolution taken by SASCOC and has not had the opportunity to engage with SASCOC on various issues raised in the communication.” CSA said in a press release.

CSA
CSA

“In addition, CSA is taking legal advice regarding the basis on which SASCOC has sought to intervene in the business affairs of CSA. CSA does, however, commit to engaging further with SASCOC to understand its position and to find common ground with it in the best interests of cricket. The Members’ Council and the Directors of the Board of CSA will hold a joint workshop this weekend to discuss critical matters.”

South African government to seize control of CSA

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) on Thursday, had asked the CSA board and senior executives to step aside from their roles pending an investigation into allegations of malpractice and maladministration.

“Many instances of maladministration and malpractice that have occurred since at least December 2019. This has manifestly caused great concern and consternation amongst your own members, former and current members of the national team of the Proteas, stakeholders, sponsors, and members of the cricket-loving public.”

“There can be no doubt that this has caused cricket to lose the trust and confidence of members of the public, stakeholders, sponsors and the players represented by SACA (the South African Cricketers’ Association). All this has brought cricket into disrepute.”

ICC World Test Championship
Image Credit: Twitter.

The battle between the South African government and the CSA would also be a worry for the South African team’s participation in international cricket. The ICC will further decide if it would allow South Africa to play international cricket until the legal dispute continues.