Johannesburg (AFP) – South African cricket divisions were exposed again when South African Cricket (CSA) president Chris Nenzani said Graeme Smith’s call for Sourav Ganguly to become chairman of the International Cricket Council did not have official approval.
“We must respect the ICC protocol and our own protocol in deciding which candidates will be supported,” Nenzani, a controversial figure who remained in office despite several calls for his resignation, said late Thursday.
“No candidate has been nominated and once the nomination has been made, the CSA Board will make a decision on the protocol itself.”
Smith, CSA’s cricket director, said at a press conference on Thursday that he believed that Ganguly India, a fellow ex-captain of Test, was the best person to replace another Indian Shashank Manohar, whose term as chairman of the ICC would end.
“We greatly appreciate the opinion of our cricket director, Graeme Smith, who is a highly respected figure in the world cricket and has made a major contribution in fulfilling his mandate to make our cricket team a world leader again,” Nenzani said. “At the moment we don’t want to anticipate candidates who might be nominated for this important position to lead the game that we all love.”
The cricket administration in South Africa has been in turmoil since the CSA constitution was amended at an annual meeting last September to allow Nenzani for an additional year in office after he had served a maximum of two three-year periods.
The extension appears to guide the organization through a new system led by Thabang Moroe’s chief executive.
But Moroe proved to be a divisive figure and was suspended in December on charges of violation. Before his suspension he had alienated the state player association and created a storm when he withdrew the accreditation of five journalists who had criticized him.
The main sponsor ended his relationship with CSA and other sponsors called for the resignation of the council, led by Nenzani. This call is echoed by the players’ association. Two of the five CSA independent directors and one non-independent director resigned.
Jacques Faul, chief executive of the successful Titans franchise, was appointed temporary chief executive and Smith took on the role of director of cricket after initially expressing concern.
Since then Faul and Smith have effectively taken over the game in the country, while the council has remained largely in the background – until Nenzani’s statement on Thursday night.
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