Chris Nenzani. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEE WARREN
Chris Nenzani. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEE WARREN

London — Cricket SA have approved changes to their constitution to allow Chris Nenzani to serve an additional year as president.

That would be key to retaining the current power dynamic in an organisation lurching through radical change that will concentrate authority in ever fewer hands.

Nenzani‚ formerly the president of the Border Cricket Board‚ was first elected in February 2013‚ and until last week Cricket SA’s constitution said a president could not serve more than two three-year terms.

That changed‚ Business Day has learnt from several different sources‚ at the meeting of the members’ council — which is comprised of the presidents of the provincial affiliates — that followed last week’s board meeting.

Asked to confirm the constitutional change and‚ if true‚ the reason for it‚ a Cricket SA spokesperson said: “Unfortunately we can’t make a comment on this matter as it is still sitting with the board.”

The prevailing theory is that Jack Madiseng‚ currently president of the Gauteng Cricket Board (GCB)‚ is being groomed by important figures at Cricket SA to succeed Nenzani.

A complication is that the recommendations of the Langa report‚ which governs the GCB and stipulates that their board must be comprised according to a race-based formula‚ expires in 2019.

But the GCB have apparently asked Cricket SA to keep the Langa recommendations in place for another year.

Without Langa‚ candidates for the board and the presidency would have to compete openly for their positions.

That could put Madiseng’s hopes of retaining the GCB presidency‚ which he needs to sit on Cricket SA’s board and thus stay in the running to take over from Nenzani‚ in jeopardy.

The GCB has previously been a conduit to high positions in SA cricket. Thabang Moroe became GCB president in September 2011 and Cricket SA vice-president five years later‚ and is now Cricket SA’s CEO.

In changes to how cricket will do business in future‚ he is also the man with whom the buck will stop dead in its tracks.

Cricket SA are to appoint a director of cricket‚ who will hire a team director‚ who will take on the roles of coach and manager as well as name a selection convenor and selectors.

None of which‚ and a lot else besides‚ will happen without Moroe’s approval.

He is known to have clashed with Ottis Gibson‚ Mohammed Moosajee and Linda Zondi — none of whom are still in their positions as SA’s men’s team’s coach‚ manager and selection convenor — and he has been central to the breakdown of Cricket SA’s relationship with the SA Cricketers’ Association (SACA).

The latter is being dragged through the courts in the shape of the SACA’s challenge to Cricket SA’s proposed restructure of the domestic system that could cause 70 professional cricketers to lose their jobs.

How seriously Cricket SA are taking the matter can be gauged from the fact that they filed their responding court papers a month late.

In agreeing to the new structure Cricket SA’s board have essentially abdicated the responsibilities they were elected to fulfil to their ever more controlling professional arm‚ headed by Moroe.

A stronger‚ more activist board may want to reclaim the authority the incumbents have relinquished. Hence the importance of keeping Nenzani in charge and ensuring his successor shares his allegiances.

Cricket SA’s annual meeting is set for September 7‚ eight days before a SA team that are currently without a captain or a coach play their first match on a tour of India.