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South African Cricket Faces Showdown As Strike Threat Looms
By Shruti - Dec 5, 2019 11:38 pm
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South African team players have faced a crucial weekend before the separate meetings of Cricket South Africa’s board and the players’ association – less than three weeks ahead of the start of a Test series against England. CSA will hold a special board meeting on Saturday after a week of drama and controversy which sparked by the withdrawal of media accreditation of five famous journalists. According to a media statement, “important decisions will be made” at the meeting.

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On November 14, former Test captain Graeme Smith announced that he had withdrawn his name from taking the job because he was not confident enough that he would have the freedom in the job. He confirmed on Monday following a weekend newspaper report that he was in talks with CSA, “but I still have real concerns, which I have reiterated.” The withdrawal of accreditation of the journalists seemed to be linked to criticism of CSA chief executive Thabang Moroe, who has reportedly been given a lot of powers by the board.

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Following that, Moroe apologised, initially describing the incident as a “mishap” which he later confirmed was an “erroneous process”. CSA was strongly criticised by everything in an open letter by a former board president, Norman Arendse while Shirley Zinn, one of five independent directors, has resigned, telling the Daily Maverick website that she had done so “after all sorts of efforts to… try and effect change at board level.”

SACA has been in conflict with CSA for nearly all of Moroe’s term, at first, as an acting chief executive and subsequent to his full-time appointment in July 2018.¬†SACA chief executive Tony Irish said in a statement on Wednesday that “CSA has flagrantly disregarded our agreements”.

Irish said Friday’s meeting was “likely to include the possibility of the players taking some industrial, or protest, action.” He further said strike action had always been considered an option of last resort, “but things have reached a stage where we must ask what SACA and the players are expected to do when the leadership of CSA continues to ignore our legitimate concerns.”