Anderson hands the ball to Broad during the third cricket test match against South Africa at Newlands. Photo: Reuters Photo by Reuters.
Daily Maverick sent Cricket South Africa a list of questions to get clarity on all the numbers and timelines that brought CSA to this sorry state of affairs. Here are the questions and the unedited responses.
CSA was asked to respond to questions raised in this article here:
DM: In October 2018, CSA publicly announced a projected R654-million loss over the next four years. That number has twice been revised – to R244-million at a meeting on 13 February 2019 and then back up to R350-million on 6 March 2019 without any explanation. Can you explain?
- As with any forecast, the purpose is to look into the future as much as one can to ascertain what activities must be corrected, added or removed in order to reach a desirable position. The R654-million was a forecasted loss for 2022 based on planned activities and available information at the time of the forecast. Management was then tasked with the process of reviewing all the planned activities with a view to reducing the forecasted losses and this is an ongoing process. The forecast is based on multiple variables and as some of those variables are confirmed, we then adjust our forecast. The quoting of different figures related to this forecast is different as the forecast is adjusted from time to time, but also infers whether the budgeted loss for MSL is included or not.
DM: On 6 April 2019 CSA announced that domestic cricket would be restructured in 2020. The current six professional franchises and 15 semi-professional provincial teams would be replaced by 12 teams plus two associates – Mpumalanga and Limpopo. CSA did not consult key stakeholders before announcing the decision, leading to court action from Saca. Why?
- The decision to reorganise the domestic structure was one taken by CSA’s ultimate stakeholder, the Members’ Council, which is a group that CSA as a whole reports in to, including the Board of Directors. The Board and Executive Management of CSA’s role in this decision is to implement the strategies taken by the Members’ Council.
DM: SuperSport head of acquisitions Marc Jury also sent an email to Corrie van Zyl on 23 December 2016, expressly stating that increasing the domestic competitions would add no value. “We urge you (CSA) to remain with the six existing franchise teams. Less is more in this instance,” Jury wrote. On what commercial basis was expansion decided upon?
- We respect the views of our stakeholders, and we endeavour to please all stakeholders from the various positions in which they are placed. To this end, we strive to take them into our confidence about the direction the sport is taking, while ensuring that continuous engagements are carried out. This decision to restructure domestic cricket, however, was one taken by a body of stakeholders higher than ourselves as management of CSA, and our mandate is to implement Members’ Council decisions.
DM: Despite supposed austerity measures, such as a proposed R76-million cut in professional player budgets, “Operational Excellence costs” have budgeted to increase by 44% or R633-million for the remainder of the current cycle. Can you explain?
- Operational excellence costs are related to the development and growth of the sport of cricket. These costs are continuously monitored and assessed, to promote access to the game and to strengthen the pipeline.
DM: The two editions of Mzansi Super League (MSL) will result in a R200-million loss for CSA. Saca believes that figure is being understated. Can you give more detail?
- We respect Saca’s views as far as they relate to their interest in the sport of cricket. We are not certain why Saca would hold this view because our financial statements are audited and published. In this regard, we can refer all our stakeholders to our auditors who have to date carried out the work of ensuring that CSA is a fiscally responsible organisation that is able to account for all its finances.
DM: The failure to launch the T20 Global League in November 2017, which had the backing of several big Indian sponsors as well as a willing broadcaster in SuperSport: Mr Moroe and the new leadership structure scrapped the competition and tried to relaunch the MSL without sponsors or a broadcaster. Why was this done?
- The decision to cancel the GT20 League was not simply a CSA decision and had no relationship with the subsequent introduction of the MSL competition. MSL was conceived as an important cog in the wheel of the development talent pipeline and remains a product that CSA wishes to invest in in an effort to build a league that is comparable to major leagues around the world. MSL is forecast to break-even after Year 5. The decision to broadcast on SABC was made on the basis that CSA wished for this product to be enjoyed by the larger population as opposed to a select number even if this meant accepting a decreased amount in broadcast revenue.
DM: Cash reserves have dropped to a few hundred million in the past two years. Is there a reasonable explanation for that situation?
- CSA’s financial statements are audited, published and are available for review by all our stakeholders. There are a number of reasons why CSA has had to incur costs at the rate that we have and among other reasons is the fact that CSA had to honour third-party financial obligations resultant from the cancelled GLT20 league.
DM: Why did Mr Moroe not take a stronger stance against the BCCI over Proteas players in the IPL in the same way Cricket Australia and the ECB did with their players? Proteas players were overplayed and injured at the start of the CWC. Daily Maverick has a copy of the post-tournament report confirming this.
- As you are aware, Mr Moroe is currently on suspension and we are therefore unable to reply to the question that you have put to him. However, we would be willing to look at the post-tournament report, to evaluate what could have been done.
DM: Why was Ottis Gibson informed that his contract would not be extended on the day the Proteas left for CWC 2019 when he had been led to believe he would have an extension until April 2021.
- CSA has a structured confidential process of engaging its employees on contractual matters. We are therefore not aware that Mr Gibson was given this information prior to the CWC 2019 and at this stage it is not clear who would have given Mr Gibson this information.
DM: Did Mr Moroe and Mr Nenzani have an agenda to “Africanise cricket” as several of our sources have confirmed?
- We are not clear what the reference to “Africanise cricket” means, but what we can say as CSA is that cricket is a sport of choice for all people in South Africa and for that matter, for many diverse groupings of people in this country. It is important for CSA that the sport of cricket is made accessible to all people and this then talks to the vision and the business model that we have adopted going forward, towards ensuring that we broaden access, in all manner possible. Furthermore, we cannot speak on behalf of Mr Moroe who is currently not at work at this time.
DM: Why did Mr Moroe refuse to deal with Saca CEO Tony Irish any longer when he is mandated to do so?
- This question is specific to Mr Moroe and therefore CSA is unable to reply to this. DM