| CSA vs Sascoc latest: ICC responds to Sascoc letter, ahead of meeting between the two bodies

Cricket South Africa (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

Cricket South Africa (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)

  • Sascoc received what they called a “reasonable” response from the ICC to the letter they sent last Friday explaining their decision to intervene at Cricket SA.
  • Sascoc’s board is set to meet Monday afternoon ahead of the critical 19:00 meeting with Cricket SA’s Members’ Council.
  • They have been at pains to allay fears that the intervention into CSA did not constitute government interference, which would be a breach of ICC’s constitution.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) says it received a “reasonable” response from the International Cricket Council (ICC) after they wrote to the world cricketing governing body explaining their intentions to intervene into Cricket South Africa (CSA).

Acting CEO Ravi Govender confirmed to Sport24 that the ICC, who had last week said they were monitoring the situation and gathering facts on the developing saga, responded to their letter addressed to ICC chairman Imran Khwaja and CEO Manu Sawhney, dated Friday 12 September.

The ICC forbids government interference into any of their national affiliates and last year they suspended Zimbabwe from international cricket following the very breach of this code.

“We did get a response from the ICC,” said Govender.

“We don’t want to comment on that at this stage. That correspondence has been copied to the Members’ Council as well.

“It was a reasonable response and it was to be expected. But we will place that before the Sascoc board when we meet this afternoon and I’m sure this letter will also be on the table for discussion at 19:00 with CSA.”

Sascoc wrote to the world cricket mother body in an effort to allay fears that their intervention constituted government interference.

In its resolutions following their 8 September board meeting, Sascoc mentioned that part of the reason it chose to intervene at Cricket SA was because of a “directive” from Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Interim Sascoc president Aleck Skhosana also told City Press last week that they were “invited” to intervene by the sports minister.

In its letter to the ICC, Sascoc dismissed allegations of government interference, saying:

Given the litany of complaints that has plagued CSA since at least December 2019, there can be no doubt that CSA has been brought into disrepute, and that its standing amongst players and ex-players, the media, the public and most importantly, its stakeholders such as sponsors, and the government, have dramatically diminished resulting in a loss of trust and confidence in the organisation.

You will therefore appreciate that as the “mother body” legally authorised to take an active interest, and be concerned with its Member Federations, the SASCOC Board has sought to engage with the CSA Board on at least two (2) occasions, the last resulting in a very short meeting because of CSA’s refusal to make the said forensic report available to it. CSA’s steadfast refusal to make the forensic report available is puzzling, as it appears that they are unable to self-correct if the report is not made available, not only to its own Members, but also to the media and the public at large since it is a public document.

The Task Team will be composed of eminent South Africans who have standing and integrity, and once identified, will be conducting an initial investigation within a period of one (1) month. The Task Team will remain accountable to the SASCOC Board and the Members’ Council of Cricket South Africa once its findings and recommendations are made. There is thus no attempt to place Cricket South Africa under administration as has been reported.

There are also reports that the SASCOC intervention is nothing other than Government interference, and that SASCOC somehow “fronts” for the Government of the Republic of South Africa. Such allegations are entirely baseless, misconceived, and mischievous. It is also insulting to SASCOC. At no stage does or did SASCOC act under the direction or control of the Minister of Sport in the country, or the Government of the Republic of South Africa … The Board exercises its judgment independently of Government, or any other outside influence.

Mthethwa has yet to respond to Sport24’s email requests for comment on the thorny issue.

Meanwhile, Sascoc’s board is set to meet Monday afternoon to align their stance ahead of their meeting 7pm with CSA’s Members’ Council.

Govender wouldn’t delve into detain as to what they expected to get out of the meeting with CSA.

“I’d rather not allude to that because my board is meeting before that, to just bring ourselves together and to realign to the exchange of correspondence between Cricket SA and ourselves (Sascoc),” he said.

“Until we have that discussion, I’m not going to … I’m going to remove my mind from having any expectation.

“We got until 7pm tonight to have that discussion. We are meeting CSA at 19:00.”

At the meeting tonight, which will be held virtually and attended by all 14 provincial presidents and Sascoc, the Members’ Council is expected affirm to Sascoc that they have the situation at CSA under control.

It is unclear, however, whether the massive bone of contention, the unreleased (publicly) Fundudzi Forensic Services external audit report into CSA’s affairs, will be given to Sascoc without any restrictions, as per their request.

During their weekend-long meeting, CSA presented the Fundudzi report to its Members’ Council, after which it promised “to take steps to implement the recommendations and to act against relevant parties”, after a plan was presented and adopted.

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