Nathi Mthethwa has threatened intervention if CSA cannot adopt a memorandum of incorporation (MOI) that promotes good governance
South Africa’s sports’ minister Nathi Mthethwa has issued a second ultimatum in six months to CSA’s Members’ Council and threatened intervention into the body if it cannot adopt a memorandum of incorporation (MOI) that promotes good governance in cricket.
Mthethwa’s action comes after the Members’ Council – the highest-decision making body at CSA, made up of the 14 provincial presidents – rejected the interim board’s proposal for a majority independent board last week thus making the drawing up of an acceptable MOI impossible. Mthethwa met with the Members’ Council and interim board on Tuesday evening and has given the Members’ Council until April 6 to come to an agreement with the interim board or face ministerial action intended to support the country’s cricketers.
“It is important not to allow boardroom disputes to trump player welfare. I am being dared to take executive action. In my opinion, it is clear that the court of public opinion shows no appetite for any unnecessary delays and own-goals, especially at a time when sponsors have demonstrated unbelievable loyalty and patience,” Mthethwa said.
According to South Africa’s National Sport and Recreation Act, Mthethwa has the power to intervene “in any dispute, alleged mismanagement or other related matter that is likely to bring a sport into disrepute”. He can also take away funding from CSA and may no longer recognise it as a national federation.
This threat has hung over CSA since October last year when Mthethwa notified the ICC that he may be required to intervene in CSA following months of administrative malfunction. Shortly thereafter, the Members’ Council agreed to ratify an interim board imposed on them by Mthethwa, who were mandated to disentangle South African cricket from its many messes, ranging from a financial crisis to the disciplinary proceedings of several senior members of staff.
The interim board were given an initial three-month period to complete their work but that has since been extended for a further three months and is expected to end in mid April. CSA’s AGM, postponed from September last year, is due to take place on April 17, by which time an MOI which lays out a framework for a new, mostly-independent board, should be ready for adoption.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
SL vs Ind T20I series
The two, as well as Krunal Pandya, will stay back in Sri Lanka for the time being
While Krunal was moved to an isolation facility immediately after he tested positive in both the Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR tests on July 27, the remaining eight players were staying at the team hotel, but separated from the rest of the touring party.
According to the Sri Lankan government’s guidelines, anyone testing positive for the virus needs to isolate for at least ten days and then clear a fresh round of tests to be allowed to leave the country. Those identified as close contacts of the affected person must isolate for seven days and then clear the prescribed tests.
More to follow…
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
SL vs Ind 3rd T20I
Coach credits inexperienced players for “spirit” and “enthusiasm” throughout 45 days in bio-bubble
“This was a really young team. All of us have had our struggles playing quality bowling, whether it’s spin or pace,” Dravid said at the post-match press conference. “Early on in our careers, we’ve all had those struggles and we’ve all had to fight our way through that. None of us have been perfect when we started, whether it’s my generation or any generation for that matter. It needs experience.
“Maybe the one thing that’s slightly different is that when I was starting or was growing up, the pitches in domestic cricket tended to turn a little bit more and spun a bit more,” he added, when comparing the current generation’s challenges to his own. “To be honest, some of them were under-prepared. But I don’t think the talent is missing, either in spin bowling or in the batting. We just need a little bit more experience in being able to figure out a few more different kinds of shots when we’re challenged with these kind of pitches. We just need to figure out a couple of more options. It was tough batting for them (Sri Lanka) as well.”
“We’ve only seen the hotel and the ground, and even in the hotel it’s only certain parts of the hotel. We haven’t been able to go everywhere in the hotel as well.”
Dravid on India’s life in the bio-bubble in Sri Lanka
Playing with only five batters meant tactical changes in terms of how the team would construct an innings, and the pitches in the last two games offered a fair bit to the spinners too.
“I just think the balance of our team in the last couple of games meant we had a couple of batsmen short, which was always challenging. But the great positive for me was the way the guys have fought,” Dravid said. “Especially in the second game, I think we took it really close. [A] couple of balls here or there and we could have actually won that game.
“We’re kind of used to playing games where the scores are 160, 180, sometimes 200. But sometimes in challenging conditions, you’ve just got to learn how to scrap and fight your way to 130-140. I think that’s a great learning for our young players.”
Dhawan apart, the other four batters for India were Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson and Nitish Rana. Among them, only Samson had any prior international experience before the Sri Lanka tour; and precious little at that, with just seven T20Is.
“I’m not disappointed,” Dravid said of the batting performance. “They are young batters, they have to keep improving and getting better. The Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is their international bowling attack. They’re missing a few batsmen because of various reasons, but this is a top quality attack. So it’s a great opportunity to reflect on these performances, reflect on these conditions, and maybe come up with some slightly better strategies.
“Let’s be fair, you don’t get these sort of conditions very often in T20 cricket, but when you do, I think you need to have a response. You need to be able to play slightly better. They’re all youngsters, we just need to have patience with them, give them more opportunities so that they can develop and grow.”
The last two T20Is were played on successive days, but the Indian squad had to spend a lot more time off the field than on it. From quarantining in Mumbai a fortnight before the tour to having to deal with rescheduling of matches when there was a Covid outbreak among the Sri Lankans, in a period that lasted a month and a half, there were only six days of cricket.
“I must admit it’s not been easy,” Dravid said of the bubble life the team had to endure. “It’s been almost 45 days for us and the thing was we only played six matches in those 45 days for a variety of reasons. We’ve only seen the hotel and the ground, and even in the hotel it’s only certain parts of the hotel. We haven’t been able to go everywhere in the hotel as well. It’s just a credit to all the boys, the way they maintained their spirit, maintained the enthusiasm, worked really hard. I can’t fault any of the boys for their effort.
“The way Shikhar and Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar, vice-captain for the tour] and the leadership group [led], the environment that they created was terrific as well. Just as much as it was tough for us and not an easy situation to be in, we’re lucky to play cricket as well. In times like this over the last year and a half, we’ve seen a lot of people go through a lot of suffering, go through some very, very difficult times. In some ways, we feel blessed to be able to do what we can and what we do. I can’t really be more proud of the way the boys handled themselves over 45 days, having only six matches to play.”
Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo
SL vs Ind, 3rd T20I
It is unclear yet if the two UK-bound players – Shaw and Suryakumar – will come back to India or fly directly to UK
“Yes, only Krunal will have to stay back in Sri Lanka for the time being due to the mandatory isolation period of one week,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“After one week, if he has two negative RT-PCR reports, he will be allowed to fly back. Currently he is in the fourth day of his isolation. All others are free to depart as they have all tested negative.”
The ODI series was delayed by five days and then the second T20I, slated on Tuesday, had to be deferred by a day after Krunal tested positive, having shown symptoms on that day.
They were his younger brother Hardik, Shaw, Yadav, Manish Pandey, Deepak Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ishan Kishan and Yuzvendra Chahal.
However all the eight had tested negative.
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