September 11 (DNA) – South Africa cricket is in major crisis after the country’s cricket board, Cricket South Africa was suspended by the Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, a government body overlooking the broader sports in the country.
This has meant that Cricket South Africa has ceased daily operations and it throws into doubt the future of the team in international cricket. International Cricket Council (ICC) rules forbid government interference and this could mean that the national team’s participation in international tournaments could be jeopardized.
This unprecedented development comes after months of turmoil in the Cricket South Africa administration. What this could mean for South Africa cricket and for the players as well as the future of international cricket for the Proteas? Here is an explainer
Q.) What is SASCOC, the government entity that has suspended Cricket South Africa?
SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) is the National Olympic Committee (NOC) and National Paralympic Committee (NPC) for South Africa, and the responsible body for South Africa at the Commonwealth Games. It is also responsible for high-performance sport in the country and coordinates the relationship with various international sports federations. Thus, it is a sporting ombudsmen that was formed following a process beginning with a task force established by Minister of Sport. Thus, it is a government superbody.
Q.) Why has Cricket South Africa been taken over and operations suspended?
In the last one year, Cricket South Africa has been dogged by many issues especially from December 2019. Three major issues have been Racism, payment row and corruption charges. The firing of their CEO Thabang Moroe was the first in the series of administrative crisis to dog Cricket South Africa. Moroe was fired due to ‘serious misconduct’ charges. The administrative crisis deepened when CEO Chris Nenzani also resigned as well as Jacques Faul. Thus, on charges of ‘alleged maladministration and malpractices’, Cricket South Africa has been suspended.
Q.) Why South Africa can be banned?
The ICC code disallows any form of government interference in the day-to-day functioning of the board. This was the reason why Zimbabwe Cricket was banned for a certain period of time last year due to increased government interference. If this happens, then South Africa could be banned for the second time in their history, with the first ban coming from 1970 to 1991 due to the Apartheid policies.
Q.) Will current South Africa players’ IPL participation be in doubt?
There is no word yet about whether this move will affect South African players’ participation in IPL. As of now, they are free to compete. It is only their international matches that might be thrown in doubt.
Q.) What next for South Africa in international cricket?
The move by SASCOC has cast an uncertain future for cricket in South Africa. Currently, the borders are sealed and travel restrictions are high due to the coronavirus pandemic. No international fixtures have been announced for South Africa in this year while even domestic cricket seems to be in a limbo.