South African cricket is in chaos following the decision by their country’s sports minister to intervene in the running of the game.
Minister of Sports, Nathi Mthethwa, has issued notice of his readiness to use the National Sports and Recreation Act to intervene in Cricket South Africa (CSA) after the board’s failure to establish a new Memorandum of Incorporation that will pave the way for a majority independent board. The Act gives Mthethwa the right to withdraw CSA’s status as the game’s governing body, which would mean the national teams could not claim to represent South Africa. If Mthethwa uses that power, the ICC could ban South Africa.
The apex cricketing body forbid the interference of governments and the punishment has been an international ban until the national board is independent.
South Africa, recently, hosted Pakistan for the limited-overs series. After losing the ODIs 1-2, they even got thrashed in the shortest format 3-1. Earlier in January-February this year, the Proteas went down to the same opposition in the Tests and T20Is on the tour of Pakistan.
South Africa captains concerned over possible suspension by ICC
All three captains of the South African Test, ODI and T20I teams have released a joint statement in which they have expressed concerns over the possible suspension that their country faces from the ICC due to current state of affairs in their cricketing board.
“At a time when we should be enthusiastic about the future, we have to be concerned about the future (of the game).
“The Proteas Men’s team has an ICC World T20 event in November. The current state of cricket administration undermines our preparation in this regard. It may even lead to our suspension from this event should the ICC decide to suspend South Africa,” the joint statement by Dean Elgar (Test captain), Temba Bavuma (ODI captain) and Heinrich Klaasen (T20I captain) read.
“Government intervention in the sport will have dire consequences, and the captains feel that this may lead to the ICC suspending South Africa.
“The right to represent South Africa may be withdrawn and the ICC may suspend Cricket South Africa. These outcomes will in turn impact touring, broadcast rights and sponsorship deals. Ultimately, the financial viability of the game will suffer and cricket at all levels will be severely prejudiced,” the players added.