Crisis in South African cricket deepens, Minister of Sport asks for legal proceedings

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The South African cricket crisis worsened on Tuesday when it emerged that the country’s sports minister had been asked to get involved in the sport’s administrative issues. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has written a letter to Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa claiming it had received “serious opposition” from Cricket South Africa (CSA) over an attempt to investigate the problems in cricket.

In the letter, the minister is asked for help in starting legal proceedings against CSA or “to take any action in your power you deem necessary to restore the dignity of the game”.

The last step could jeopardize CSA’s membership of the International Cricket Council, as the ICC’s constitution prohibits government interference in its affiliated bodies.

The latest revelation came a day after CSA announced that the Mzansi Super League, its flagship T20 tournament, would not take place as planned in November and December due to logistical issues caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tournament usually has several foreign players and is broadcast internationally.

No local or international matches for the 2020/21 season have yet been announced by CSA, although the South African cricket season traditionally starts in October.

Covid restrictions are just one problem for the controversial controlling body.

Sascoc, an umbrella body for all top sporting codes in South Africa, earlier this month demanded that the CSA board step aside to allow an independent task team to investigate the administrative and financial affairs of cricket.

A major stumbling block was CSA’s refusal to grant unrestricted access to a forensic report that formed the basis for CEO Thabang Moroe’s resignation last month after an eight-month investigation.

Sascoc believes the report pertains to individuals other than Moroe.

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CSA does not currently have a president or permanent chief executive.

The scheduled annual general meeting earlier this month was postponed indefinitely and the organization faced criticism from the players’ association, while sponsors have withdrawn their support.

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