The crisis engulfing South African cricket was seemingly averted on Monday as the interim board of the country’s governing body looked set to be recognised hours before England were due to fly to Cape Town for a limited overs tour.
Judge Zak Yacoob, chairman of the interim board of Cricket South Africa, said in a message sent to reporters that the body’s members’ council had made the decision to recognise the board after a weekend of uncertainty.
Yacoob said that the decision had been made on Monday afternoon and that there would be a meeting between the members’ council –- representing the presidents of South Africa’s provincial unions –- and the interim board on Monday evening.
Contacted by AFP, there was no immediate confirmation from CSA.
Yacoob’s remarks followed a weekend of uncertainty during which the members’ council reportedly initially refused to bow to pressure from sports minister Nathi Mthethwa, who has the power to withdraw government recognition of CSA as the controlling body of cricket in South Africa.
Mthethwa threatened to intervene directly unless the council reversed a decision, announced last Thursday, not to recognise the interim board.
Government interference would jeopardise South Africa’s standing in the International Cricket Council, potentially putting international tours at risk, although it was reported locally that the England and Wales Cricket Board had been assured that the crisis would not affect the England tour.
The England team were due to fly to Cape Town on Monday evening for three Twenty20 internationals and three one-day internationals, starting on November 27.
The interim board was appointed last month after all the elected board members, including some who remain on the members’ council, resigned.
Their resignations brought to a climax a year of turmoil in the administration of South African cricket.