It is only a matter of time before the embattled but defiant Cricket SA (CSA) board is dismantled and replaced with an interim structure as more provinces join calls for its disbandment.
The noose tightened at a special council meeting at Newlands on Wednesday after Western Province Cricket Association officially called for the CSA board to step down with immediate effect.
“The undoubted reputational damage suffered by Cricket SA as a result of the current turmoil requires the situation to be addressed immediately‚” the Western Province body said on Thursday in calling for the removal of the CSA board.
The call has been supported by the boards of Gauteng (both Central Gauteng Lions and Northerns Cricket Union)‚ KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Province Cricket. The smaller unions in Limpopo‚ Mpumalanga and North West have adopted a wait-and-see approach.
A campaign to lobby the smaller provinces to join the chorus is under way‚ according to an insider who is a leader of the one of the provinces.
“The bigger provinces with a lot bigger influence are clear to say that the board must go‚” the insider said.
“With Gauteng‚ Western Province‚ Eastern Province and KwaZulu-Natal on board‚ it will not be that difficult to convince other small provinces to speak and join those who are calling for the removal of the CSA board.
“It’s only a matter of time before we garner enough support and as soon as we secure that then we will have the Members’ Council meet so that the board can be removed.”
The Members’ Council‚ a 14-member strong body‚ is the only structure that has the authority to remove the CSA board.
A minimum of eight votes out of 14 are needed to pass a resolution to disband the board.
With their pulling power as provinces that generate the most revenue and boast Test match venues in the country‚ it should be relatively easy for Gauteng‚ Western Province‚ KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape to persuade other the provinces to heed their call.
A president of one of the smaller provinces said his union has not decided on its position. “We will go with whatever is good for the game in cricket in the country‚” he said.
Calls for the removal of the CSA board have grown louder with each passing day and the situation could soon become untenable. Sponsors and the players’ union‚ the SA Cricketers Association have already made their positions clear that the board must resign.
Leading sponsors gave CSA ultimatums last week to remove the board or face termination of the multimillion sponsorship contracts.
Standard Bank has already said it will not renew its R100m-a-year sponsorship when the season comes to an end in April next year. Sunfoil and Momentum have issued ultimatums for the CSA board to be removed.
“The threats from sponsors to walk out on CSA should be the final nail in the coffin of the current board‚” said one source.
“If you look at Standard Bank‚ they bring R100m odd‚ Momentum R30m round about there and the Willowton Group (Sunfoil) is also in the millions a year.
“If all these companies walk away‚ that’s almost half a billion that is going to be lost and CSA cannot afford that.”
Amid the storm‚ the CSA board has defiantly maintained that it receives majority support from member affiliates. But it is gradually disintegrating with four of its 12 members resigning in a space of a week as the organisation lurched from one crisis to the next.
Amid the storm‚ CSA has called for calm.
The SA Cricketers Association is also dragging CSA to court over the a proposed restructuring move that will see the franchise doubled to 12.