The acting CEO says he only wants what is good for SA Cricket. He has done a good job, by all accounts, but there seem to be all kinds of strategies involved in his decision – on all sides. By ANT SIMS.
Jacques Faul, the interim CEO of Cricket South Africa, on Thursday tendered his resignation, just a few months after being appointed to fill in for Gerald Majola. The board has, however, asked Faul to reconsider his decision.
In his resignation letter Faul stated that he felt "some of the board members had lost confidence in his abilities and are trying to micro-manage things”.
The interference by the CSA board has long been an issue of concern with various people in the set- up. In fact, one of the recommendations from the Nicholson inquiry was that the board gets an overhaul.
CSA directors accepted the recommendations in principle, and set up a steering committee of board representatives and independent members to lead discussions on the governance structures of CSA.
“That was a major component of the Nicholson report and a point of much discussion in South Africa and then of course worldwide, in New Zealand and England as well,” acting president Willie Basson said after the inquiry.
“This was to follow up the resolution that was passed at the board meeting on March 17, at which the decision was taken to set up a steering committee to ensure that governance structures are put into place.”
However, Faul feels that the interference is still a problem and that there is an issue between the operational side of CSA and the board’s role.
“I think there is a lot of confusion as to what is operational and what is not and I did somewhat feel like there was a campaign run against me. That’s all I can really say at the moment,” Faul told The Daily Maverick.
His stint in charge has been short and, though he hasn’t had to fend off much criticism, whatever he’s had to deal with, he’s done with pizazz. There was the hullabaloo over putting the Boxing Day Test on ice for the year and the cross-questioning about the financial impact of the Champions League Twenty20, which will be held in South Africa this year. Faul dealt with all the issues professionally.
On top of that, he had to attend the annual ICC conference in Kuala Lampur, he announced a cracking new sponsorship for limited-overs matches and carried himself seemingly well, considering the mess CSA’s image was in prior to his appointment. Faul, however, insists he wants what is best for the game and he wants to see the sport move forward.
“Nobody is bigger than cricket and I don’t want to stand in the way of a process moving forward so if I need to move out of the way to make things progress, then I am happy to do that.”
The timing of his resignation is somewhat curious. The Proteas are about to embark on their quest to become the number one ranked Test side and things seem to be returning to normal as the mess CSA found itself in slowly gets cleaned up.
“The reason why I have done it now is because I didn’t want to go (on) the Lord’s trip and then resign afterwards. I’m not in this for the trip, I’m in it to help the game and the operation move forward,” Faul said.
The board has, however, asked him to reconsider his decision and, as it stands, Faul is still acting CEO. He is also adamant that he sees the possibility of the two parties reconciling their differences.
“The board has asked me to reconsider and I am confident that we will be able to resolve our differences, but what is going on right now, I am not sure. I’m not sure if it’s political pressure or not, I just think there is confusion in terms of what is operational and what is not,” Faul said.
It could be a strategic move on Faul’s part, of course. Majola’s hearing has yet to begin and Faul currently finds himself in the position of being a short-term solution to a long-term problem. It could be that he wants to be the long-term solution, but feels unsure about his future with CSA and is looking for reassurance that he has a place in the set-up when the Majola hearing is finally concluded.
Whatever the reasoning, it’s another unwelcome spanner in the works of a saga which has dragged on for far longer than it should and which seems to have no end in sight. DM
Photo of Jacques Faul by Cricket SA.