Mohammed Moosajee’s letter exposes rifts between SA team and administrators
National squad has no representative on Cricket SA’s exco
London — The longest-serving member in SA’s cricket squad has lifted the lid on troubling aspects of the relationship between players and administrators.
Mohammed Moosajee became SA’s team doctor in 2003 and their manager in 2008‚ and has since fulfilled both roles.
In a letter to Cricket SA’s board, he estimated about R15m had been saved because of his dual function.
That is the extent of the good news. The rest will worry those keeping an eye on the state of the game in the country. The letter‚ the contents of which are known to Business Day‚ was submitted to the board for their meeting on Thursday.
Moosajee informed the board he did not want to continue‚ which Cricket SA confirmed in a release on Sunday‚ which said he had “expressed … his wish not be considered for another term as joint team manager and team doctor‚ which the board accepted”.
The only other mention of Moosajee in the release was attributed to CEO Thabang Moroe‚ who thanked him for his “national service to SA cricket”.
So far‚ so amicable. But Moosajee also wrote that late in 2018 he survived an attempt to remove him from his position.
The move came to the attention of captain Faf du Plessis and coach Ottis Gibson‚ who met Cricket SA president Chris Nenzani to insist Moosajee be kept on board.
Moosajee‚ who is contracted until September‚ also highlighted his alarm that he was not informed he had been omitted from Cricket SA’s exco — which the organisation’s website describes as its “senior executive team”.
The chief executives’ committee (CEC) comprises the CEOs of Cricket SA and the SA Cricketers’ Association‚ or their equivalents‚ and the exco.
Moosajee had been part of the structure since 2011‚ and his absence means the national team are not directly represented on a body that Cricket SA’s website says “is an important planning and operational committee serving under the CEO of Cricket SA”.
“The committee is intended to serve as an advisory committee to the CEO and is entitled to make strategic and operational recommendations to the CEO and the board of Cricket SA‚” the CEC’s terms of reference say.
Asked on Monday what Cricket SA planned to do about the team not having a say at that level‚ a spokesperson said: “That is not true. The national men’s and women’s teams will now be represented by the acting director of cricket until the post is filled permanently.”
Which takes us back to Sunday’s release‚ which announced the sweeping aside of much of the structure around a national team that earned a hard look at how they function — or not — by losing five of their eight completed games at the 2019 World Cup.
Gibson and his assistants have lost their jobs‚ though it seems they could reapply for them‚ and Du Plessis’s position appears uncertain.
Cricket SA are on the hunt for a director of cricket as well as a team director‚ who it seems will have to fulfil the roles of coach and manager.
For now‚ Corrie van Zyl‚ Cricket SA’s manager of cricket pathways‚ is the acting director of cricket and thus‚ by some measures‚ the most powerful person in the game in SA.
And all that with the clock ticking towards the tour to India in September‚ where three T20s and three Tests await.