Acting chief unveils transformation plans for CSA

Johannesburg: Cricket South Africa`s acting President Willie Basson has promised swift implementation of the recommendations made by the Nicholson inquiry that led to CSA CEO Gerald Majola`s suspension last week.

"Both (acting chief executive) Jacques Faul and myself are serving in acting capacities and our actions will be dominated by the consequences of the decisions taken by the Board last Saturday with respect to the Nicholson report and the actions that will follow from this and the suspension of (Majola)," Basson said at a media briefing yesterday.

"As indicated at the time, the Board will deal with the impact of these decisions and appropriate follow-up actions in detail at the next Board meeting on the March 30.”

"The importance of the Nicholson report and the watershed impact it is going to have not only on cricket but on all sport federations in the country cannot be ignored."

The Nicholson inquiry found Majola in breach of his fiduciary duties and recommended his suspension pending a disciplinary hearing, as well as investigation of possible criminal charges by the National Prosecuting Authority.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula instituted the inquiry following almost two years of wrangling over huge IPL 2 bonuses that Majola paid himself and other senior CSA staff without informing the board. IPL 2 was played in South Africa due to security concerns at that time in India because of elections there.

Basson said the complex process of restoring CSA`s reputation and image on the basis of systematic and on-going communication with stakeholders will be important focus areas.

"In the light of the Minister`s recent comments on the status of transformation in the country`s major sporting codes this will be a high priority item," Basson said.

A fund to support transformation initiatives at provincial level has been established.

"CSA is under no illusion that cricket is beleaguered and that its image and reputation have been dented over an extended period of time," Basson said as he called on all stakeholders to assist in the renewal of the organisation.

"The process will require cool heads, a high level of professionalism, above average teamwork and a systematic approach to resolve the burning issues facing the organisation
while at the same time laying the foundation for a `re-invented` cricket system."

The man, who will head the CSA board until elections in September, said he was taking a particular personal interest in "the large gap between the level of professionalism, dedication and motivation of the on-the field activities as opposed to the off-the field activities of sports organisations.

"From a cricketing perspective this obvious weakness has to be aggressively addressed. The time has come for those responsible for guiding and executing `off-the-field` activities to have better game plans executed more effectively and efficiently."