South Africa bids to join the big league


Cricket South Africa (CSA) has made a strong move in the war to be the most ridiculous cricket governing body in the world. Don’t forget this is big-league stuff – cricket’s governing bodies are strong contenders for The World’s Worst Sports Governing Body.

Following on from brilliant efforts by the ECB[1], the WICB[2] and the ICC[3], CSA have appointed the likeable Ashwell Prince as the stand-in captain for the next Test Match then relieved him of the captaincy 24 hours later, appointing one of the world’s least popular cricketers in his place – Jacques Kallis.

This is on top of moving him from his favoured middle-order position to open the batting in place of the injured Graeme Smith. And dropping Neil Mackenzie for the crime of scoring 1073 runs in 2008 at an average of 50+.

Moves like this always reveal underlying tensions in the governing body and team management. In this case the arrival of Mike Procter as the head of selectors seems to have been the catalyst. But it’s unfair to blame Procter for this collapse into incompetence. Somebody appointed him (Gerald Majola presumably).

CSA needs to get its act together quickly, or the relocated ICC Champions Trophy will join the long list of international tournaments that have made cricket a laughing stock in world sport.

[1] The England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) quite appropriately conceals the Welsh element from its abbreviation since cricket is a long tail sport in the principality. Notwithstanding this, the ECB have chosen the hotly-anticipated 2009 Ashes series to introduce a new venue to the Test Match roster. One that is smaller than all the other venues on the circuit. One that is not even the largest stadium in its town, or even the second largest. One that is in Wales.

[2] Where to start? The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is responsible for squandering the revenue from the 2007 World Cup and Sir Allen Stanford’s brief flirtation with cricket in the region. The result has been white-elephant stadiums in places that ordinary West Indians can’t get to and which aren’t even fit to play the game. CLR James would weep, as should everybody else.

[3] Venal and incompetent, the International Cricket Council is dominated by Indian television revenue making it difficult for it to take a neutral view of world cricket. Incapable of running a decent tournament itself, it tries to avoid blame for other international cricket disasters by disassociating itself from, well, international cricket.

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1 Response to “South Africa bids to join the big league”


  1. 1 laggleton March 12, 2009 at 16:41

    Jacques Kallis truly is the worst possible choice for captain. ‘Positive declaration, you say? Naaa, bra, I’d rather look after my average and accumulate at sub-Boycottian speeds’. He makes Mark Richardson look like Kevin Pietersen.


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