Board room shenanigans, pandemic make 2020 a year to forget for SA cricket

Its been a tumultuous year for the custodians of South African cricket, to say the least, with the board room and the behind the scenes operations taking centre stage, with very little happening on the field.

South Africa's Faf du Plessis plays a shot during the first T20 international cricket match between South Africa and England at Newlands stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, on November 27, 2020. Pictur: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - With the new year fast approaching there are hopes of a fresh start for Cricket South Africa (CSA).

It has been a tumultuous year for the custodians of South African cricket to say the least, with the board room and the behind the scenes operations taking centre stage, with very little happening on the field.

CSA has been through the wringer for the best of a year with suspensions, firings and even government intervention.

It all came to a head in December last year, with the suspension of CEO Thabang Moroe pending the outcome of an independent forensic audit.

A few days later, Graeme Smith was appointed as acting director of cricket and amid much criticism, announced Mark Boucher as the new head coach of the men's national team.

Fast forward to June of this year and Moroe turns up at CSA's office to resume work, claiming that his six-month suspension had ended.

The board then held a meeting and concluded that Moroe remained suspended until the outcome of the investigation.

A month later, CSA announced that acting CEO Jacques Faul and president Chris Nenzani had resigned with less than a month left in their respective positions.

Kugandrie Govender was appointed acting CEO of CSA, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the organisation.

Before the end of August, CSA fired Moroe, claiming that he committed "acts of serious misconduct."

But wait there's more.

Government threatened to intervene if CSA did not get its house in order and the organisation met with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) at the beginning of September.

The two bodies went back and forth over the release of the Fundudzi report, with Sascoc standing firm that an unredacted version must be made available outside of CSA structures.

At the end of October, Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced the interim board at CSA, headed by Judge Zak Yacoob.

As if there wasn't enough drama already, the Members Council refused to acknowledge the new board.

November saw the full Fundudzi report finally made public, with Moroe heavily implicated in the downfall of the organisation.

December 2020 brought more optimism, with the hope that focus would shift to on-field matters with England touring for three T20s and three ODIs.

That would prove to be another chapter in the disaster story of CSA, with the ODI series called off following a number of players testing positive for COVID-19.

The final nail in the coffin of a forgetful year for cricket in South Africa was the suspension of acting CEO, Govender, pending the outcome of a hearing to take place in the new year.

The interim board then resolved to remove Omphile Ramela as a director, citing his disruptive nature to the board's progress.

And breathe.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.