Proteas

CSA to have 'Fikile ban' overturned?

2017-03-28 13:40

Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) will meet with national government next week in the hopes that their ban to bid for and host major cricket events will be lifted. 

Almost a year has passed since sports minister Fikile Mbalula banned the organisations tasked with running cricket, rugby, netball and athletics in the country from bidding for and hosting major sporting events. 

That decision came after a 2015/16 Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report suggested that those codes had failed to facilitate transformation at a rate that fell in line with government's standards. 

The punishment was harsh, but Mbalula did say at the time that he would review the bans once the EPG reports for 2016/17 were released. 

For Cricket South Africa (CSA), that time has come. 

CSA has received the report from the EPG and president Chris Nenzani is expected to sign it off in the coming days. 

Sport24 understands that a meeting between CSA and Mbalula will take place next week, and if all goes well and CSA is deemed to have elevated its scores to an acceptable level, then the ban will be lifted. 

A CSA spokesperson confirmed that meetings between CSA and the department of sport had been taking place throughout the year since the ban was first laid down. 

There had been some issues with some of the scoring measures in the report, but those had since been rectified and CSA is confident of its transformation record this time round. 

Cricket is largely considered one of South Africa's most transformed sports at a senior player level, with diversity in the national team and an enforced policy ensuring that each franchise must field at least three black Africans and six players of colour seen as the major catalysts for change. 

Yet, when addressing parliament at a portfolio committee meeting in Cape Town on Monday, CSA vice-president Thabang Moroe acknowledged that there was still a long way to go. 

"I'd say we're at a 4," Moroe said when asked to give the organisation's progress on transformation a score out of 10.

"I say that because transformation is a massive animal and we're still falling short in many regards."

Moroe said that one of the major challenges was "casting the net as wide as possible" in the townships and rural areas. 

"We are actively involved with schools, but the problem is getting teams in schools," he said.

"If you go to school like King Edward (KES), they will have six teams per age group.

"If you go to Soweto, for instance, we have facilities that are white elephants. We have erected fields in the past, but because cricket participation in the past has digressed for various reasons other than segregation, cricket participation has dwindled."

Moroe added that CSA was now adopting a "strategic approach" through their Hubs and Regional Performance Centre (RPC) system that sought to build and maintain cricket facilities in developing and cricket-hungry communities. 

There are currently 58 hubs operating throughout the country.

"Erecting fields and nets is no longer just a solution to the problem," Moroe said.

"If we have the numbers and a specific area produces dominance then we will go to that area because we are pretty sure that that field will be used.

"We are trying very hard not to waste the little money that we have."

The CSA delegation in parliament also asked for government assistance in maintaining public cricket facilities, but they were told that such reciprocation would be minimal. 

Read more on:    csa  |  fikile mbalula  |  haroon lorgat  |  cricket
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