Acting Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Jacques Faul intends to hold urgent discussions with sponsors‚ including Standard Bank‚ in a bid to reassure the sport's financial backers.
Standard Bank dropped a bombshell last week when it announced it would not renew its contract as sponsor of the senior national team when it comes to an end in April.
Faul‚ who replaced the suspended Thabang Moroe‚ said he would have to hit the ground running because most corporate companies are closing for the festive holidays at the end of this week.
Urgent discussions with the SA Cricketers’ Association (SACA)‚ which has called for the entire CSA board to resign‚ are also high on Faul’s agenda.
SACA has made it clear that it will not engage with CSA's negotiating panel if it includes any members of the current board.
In a statement released three days after CSA CEO Thabang Moroe was suspended and an interim administration headed by Faul put in place, SACA again called for the entire board to step down, although they have agreed to dealings with Faul.
"SACA has noted the appointment of Jacques Faul, as the Acting Chief Executive, and is prepared to deal with him in good faith in order to attempt to resolve as many as possible of the current crises affecting the players. SACA will not, however, lend credibility to the board of CSA by dealing with a 'negotiating panel' if this comprises any board members," Tony Irish, the SACA CEO, said. "Cricket has been severely damaged by its own leadership and the game desperately needs the right people in whom the cricket stakeholders, including the players, can trust in attempting to fix as much of the damage as possible."
SACA has two ongoing disputes with CSA: a court case relating to the proposed restructure of the domestic system and a commercial rights issue in which players have been used in a fantasy cricket game, allegedly without proper permissions.
When Faul was appointed in an acting capacity, CSA President Chris Nenzani identified fixing the organisation's relationship with SACA as a "matter of urgency".
"We are astounded that the board of CSA, which has led the organisation during a tumultuous period when all this has happened, now refuses to take responsibility for the deep, deep crisis in which cricket finds itself," Irish said. "No one disagrees with the removal of the Chief Executive, but to suggest that the buck stopped with him alone, and for the board to cling so desperately to power, is a matter for serious concern."
SACA claims the board was complicit in ignoring the player body's concerns, especially as they relate to the domestic restructure. CSA's members' forum is advocating for the dismantling of the current six-team franchise and 14-team provincial structure and reverting to a 12-team provincial set-up, thus operating with only one tier in domestic cricket. SACA argues that around 70 cricketers will lose their jobs as a result. SACA launched a court application in May this year to ask CSA to show cause for its plans to restructure the set-up, and believe it then "became incumbent on the board to, at very least, take a good look at the risk that this presented to the organisation, and to the game, and to deal with it expeditiously. Instead, however CSA delayed the proceedings for months and its answering papers were only filed at court in November 2019".