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CSA warned about players’ strike

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By SAPA

Johannesburg – The SA Cricketers' Association (Saca) has “serious concerns” about the expansion of Cricket SA's (CSA) board, it said on Thursday, and warned of a possible players' strike.

The CSA members' forum agreed on Wednesday to restructure its board to 12 directors – seven non-independent and five independent.

Saca accepted this decision, but did not agree the board should be further increased to 16 directors in 18 months.

“The players have stood up for good governance in cricket,” Saca chief executive Tony Irish said on Thursday.

“We have a world class national team and the players expect world class governance in the game.”

He said Wednesday's resolution by the CSA to implement a 7:5 director board was not perfect, but was “a vast improvement” on the existing 22-director board.

“There has been so much politics and in-fighting within the existing board and we hope that the significant reduction in size and the higher degree of independence on the board will make it less unwieldy and political and more focused on good cricket decision-making.”

Saca would not tolerate a further expansion of the board.

“We don't think there are good reasons for this and it simply moves further away from the Nicholson report recommendations and closer to the existing structure, which we all know has been a problem,” Irish said.

“Should this actually happen it is likely to again become an issue for Saca and the players.”

Saca held an executive committee meeting on Wednesday, and discussions with Proteas players in Port Elizabeth.

It believed it was within its rights to initiate a player strike in the first week of February if CSA did not follow the Nicholson Inquiry's recommendations.

Saca lodged a dispute against CSA at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration on November 22, calling on CSA to finalise its board structure and to follow the report as closely as possible.

A conciliation meeting was scheduled for December 13, but was postponed to February 6.

“In the event that the dispute is not settled or withdrawn by February 6, 2013, Saca would be in a position to take the players out on a lawful strike over this issue,” it said.

With the CSA AGM to be held on February 2, Saca hoped it would stick to the recommendations in the Nicholson report, and bring an end to a troubled period for the sport.

“As there has been significant improvement in the structure, it would not be responsible of us to continue with player action at this stage,” Irish said.

“Hopefully, this will end the months of controversy and uncertainty in the governance of the game and everyone can get on with making South African cricket the best it can be,” he said. – Sapa

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