South Africa-England series at risk of getting cancelled due to mess in CSA

South Africa-England series at risk of getting cancelled due to mess in CSA

A cancellation will be a huge blow to CSA who have suffered financially in recent months.

South African team
South African team. (Photo by BARCO GREEFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The upcoming limited-overs series between South Africa and England is in doubt due to the ongoing turmoil in Cricket South Africa. The reigning 50-over world champions are scheduled to fly to South Africa on Monday but there is still little clarity over whether the series will go ahead smoothly. England and South Africa are scheduled to play three T20Is and as many ODIs.

But the much-awaited series could be at risk of being called off unless Cricket South Africa’s Members’ Council ratifies the interim board. South Africa’s sports minister Nathi Mthethwa had imposed the interim board on the organisation two weeks ago. On Thursday, the Members’ Council publicly stated that it wouldn’t appoint the interim board citing an inability to work with them.

The Members Council is made up of the 14 presidents of the provincial cricketing associations. The council is the leading decision-making group in CSA. As of now, the council has shown absolutely no signs of cooperating with the interim board, thus putting the upcoming series at risk. If the parties don’t strike a deal soon, South Africa will not have an official team to represent the country. In such a case, the series will be impossible to take place.

Yacoob slams Members Council

Judge Zak Yakoob, who is the chairman of the interim board, has come down hard on the Members Council. The former Constitutional Court judge said that England would be hesitant to visit South Africa unless the Members Council takes a ‘proper decision’. He also alleged that the council has been ‘uncooperative, unresponsive and rude’ with the interim board.

“I have no doubt that if the Members Council doesn’t take a proper decision, England will be discouraged from coming,” Yacoob told reporters as quoted by Daily Mail.

“The Members Council and the executive have been uncooperative, unresponsive and rude in their dealings with us. They broke their promise to ratify the interim board made two weeks ago. There is no chance of them self-correcting, barring a miracle,” he added.

Meanwhile, England are still planning for the series and are looking to travel on a charter flight to Cape Town on Monday as planned. An ECB spokesperson confirmed that England will travel to South Africa on Monday until they hear otherwise.

“As far as we are concerned, it’s business as usual and, until we hear otherwise, we travel on Monday,” the spokesperson said.

A cancellation will be a huge blow to CSA who have suffered financially in recent months. A number of their sponsors have ended their ties in the wake of the turmoil. If the upcoming series does not go ahead, CSA will take further USD 4.2-million revenue hit from TV rights. It could also prompt the ICC, on receipt of a complaint from the members’ council, to suspend CSA on the grounds of outside interference.