‘Very sad day for cricket’: SA crisis deepens

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is on the verge of being defunded and derecognised by the government.

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South Africa’s sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has decided to invoke his powers to allow government take hold of country’s cricket.

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“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,” Mthethwa wrote in a letter.

Such move leaves the future of South Africa cricket in jeopardy. The International Cricket Council does now allow government intervention in a national cricket body. Zimbabwe were suspended in 2019 and missed out on the T20 World Cup.

CSA has released a statement on confirming the correspondence from Mthethwa, saying it’s a sad day for the country and cricket.

“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,” CSA wrote in a statement.

CSA chairperson Stavros Nicolau said: “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.”

Earlier South Africa Cricketers’ Association along with national capains Temba Bavuma, Dean Elgar and Dane van Niekerk feared dire consequences in a statement. They were also uncertain about men’s team’s participation in this year’s T20 World Cup in India.

South Africa men’s team do not have international cricket before West Indies tour in June. The women’s team do not have any major assignments before the Commonwealth Games.

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