On Friday, ESPNCricinfo has reported that Cricket South Africa were on the verge of being stripped as the country’s official cricketing body. The reports also added that sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has warned of "defunding" and "derecognising" the body, which would have a snowball effect.
On and off the field, South African cricket has had its fair share of downfall over the last year, given the circumstances. However, in the past week, the status of Cricket South Africa as the country’s official cricketing body has come under the scanner. It could have severe implications on the field, with South Africa not being able to take part in international events, starting from their Test series against West Indies.
In a letter on Thursday, the country’s sports minister, Nathi Mthethwa had mentioned that he has decided to evoke his powers, by "defunding, derecognising CSA". It would also mean that the CSA no longer could call itself the national team’s representative. Mthethwa also added that he would publish this in the government gazette in due course at the earliest opportunity, which means that the time is ticking for the members to make a decision.
"In the circumstances, I have decided to invoke my powers under the Act [which allows ministerial intervention in a sporting body] and I hereby notify you that I have done so…. by de-funding and de-recognising CSA, and I will cause this to be published in the Government Gazette in due course at the earliest opportunity,” he wrote, reported ESPNCricinfo.
"We are in a situation where a minister is in a position to trigger measures he has and powers he has at his disposal in term of the Act. The consequences of those would be dire for cricket - financial, economic, developmental and sporting consequences. It would plunge cricket into crisis," said Interim chairperson Stavros Nicolau.
On the other hand, CSA, in their statement added that it was indeed a ‘very sad’ day for the cricket-loving nation. The statement also called for a quick action from the members, if cricket has to be saved in South Africa.
"It is indeed a very sad day for our country, for cricket, for the millions of South African fans who love the game and the sponsors who have committed to cricket and its grassroots development. But it is a specifically sad day for the players, staff and others whose livelihoods are at stake.
"The [interim] board commends the majority of the members council who support good governance and voted in favour of a modern governance structure for cricket. It is deeply disappointing that a self-interested vocal minority voted against change while three members chose to abstain. These actions have now brought the game to its knees and will cause the greatest crisis since readmission."