Cricket South Africa (CSA) is once again embarking on a review of its domestic playing structures while there are two reports on the same topic gathering dust somewhere.
The organisation somewhat sneakily announced on Monday night that Dave Richardson would form a steering committee “to make recommendations on the future structure of South African domestic cricket”.
The announcement came in a brief statement released towards the latter stages of the Mzansi Super League final and just hours after a joint meeting of Cricket SA’s Members Council and the remaining Board of Directors had wrapped up in Paarl.
Richardson, a former South African international wicket-keeper who went on to become chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC), was recently roped in as a consultant by Cricket SA to help manage the fall-out from the administrative meltdown the organisation has suffered that has included the resignation of four board members and the suspension of seven members of staff, including chief executive officer Thabang Moroe.
Central to many of CSA’s problems has been a fall-out with the country’s players, represented by their union, the SA Cricketers Association.
Saca dragged CSA to court over proposed changes to the sport’s domestic structure announced in April with CSA wanting to revert from the current structure of six franchises to a 12 team provincial structure next season.
Saca stated that they were not consulted as is required under a Memorandum of Understanding between it and CSA.
In an attempt to manage the continuing fallout from that decision, Cricket SA decided to put Richardson in charge of the steering committee that will include interim director of cricket Graeme Smith, chief financial officer Pholetsi Moseki and a representative of Saca.
Except yesterday morning, Saca said it would not participate on the committee until the existing decision to restructure is withdrawn.
“The fact that CSA is now, for the first time, going to look into what the domestic structure should be is a clear admission that the decision eight months ago was taken without this being done.
“This is precisely why we had to launch legal proceedings against CSA,” said Saca chief executive Tony Irish.
Richardson described the committee’s work as urgent and hoped to have some form of recommendations available for the board to review by the end of January next year.
“We can’t guarantee that the board will eventually approve any recommendations that might come out of this whole process, but if we put a good plan together there is no reason that they wouldn’t,” said Richardson.