It took the most gruelling of meetings, but after 11 hours of intense wrangling, the Cricket South Africa Members Council on Sunday night finally agreed to the new constitution proposed by the Interim Board, marking the end of the crisis in cricket that would have led to Minister of Sport Nathi Mthethwa withdrawing their recognition at the end of the week.
The Members Council met on Saturday afternoon and then went into a meeting with the Interim Board from 10am on Sunday. The initial attitude of the Members Council seemed to be that CSA should “defend” their autonomy against the Minister’s looming action, especially since Sascoc issued a strong rejection of having a majority independent board in a statement on Saturday.
But with the threat of irreparable harm being done to the game if they were suspended by the minister, agreement was eventually reached on all the outstanding issues that prevented the Members Council from approving the MoI last weekend.
Sascoc, who have warned CSA that they could have their membership of the mother body suspended if they agree to a majority independent board and an independent chair, will obviously still be an obstacle, but it is believed Mthethwa will be handling that side of the conflict.
CSA issued a communique half-an-hour before midnight on Sunday night, the headline of which included the gorgeous words “Joint Statement” indicating agreement had finally been reached and a catastrophe averted. In terms of Section 60 of the Companies Act, an expedited process has now been triggered which will see the MoI being adopted in the next 48 hours.
“By reaching this agreement, cricket in South Africa has adopted a governance mode which is best practice both in South Africa and internationally,” the statement said.
Both Members Council president Rihan Richards and Interim Board chair Dr Stavros Nicolaou were then quoted expressing their delight at the cessation of hostilities.