Cricket South Africa board member Professor Shirley Zinn resigns

4:45 PM GMTFirdose MoondaSouth Africa correspondent, ESPNcricinfo FacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerPinterestEmailprint

Cricket South Africa’s Board will hold a special meeting on Saturday to find a way out of the crisis they are currently in and, at the end of it, chief executive Thabang Moroe hoped to see clarity on various issues, including the Director of Cricket role, which is yet to be filled even as the home series against England is set to begin on Boxing Day.

“This [meeting] will be immediately followed by a media conference to communicate the outcomes and next steps to South Africa via the media, including but not limited to the Director of Cricket role, team selection processes for the England tour, and all other Cricket South Africa issues relevant to the South African public.”

Moroe sent this statement out on Tuesday evening soon after the board was hit with its first resignation. Professor Shirley Zinn stepped down as an independent member of the board citing problems with CSA’s “principles of corporate governance”. Her decision came in the aftermath of CSA receiving criticism from several high-profile voices including former president Norman Arendse for the recent crises.

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CSA is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) over its proposed domestic restructure and is facing severe losses – projections are at R654 million – over the next four year cycle.

Then, on Sunday, CSA revoked the accreditation of five journalists without giving any reason, prompting backlash from the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) and SACA. Major sponsor Standard Bank even demanded that that board “clean up their act.”

CSA has since met with Standard Bank who issued a statement saying they are “reasonably satisfied” that the board will “urgently implement remedial actions to address stakeholder concerns, including the unacceptable manner in which it treated members of the media.” All five reporters’ match access has been reactivated but there had already been some damage done.

“There are a lot of issues‚” Zinn, who had been serving on the board since 2018, told TimesLive. “Some of them are being fixed‚ but one of them is the relationship with the South Africa Cricketers’ Association (SACA)‚ the accreditation of journalists being withdrawn‚ which is something that I thought was an appalling approach in terms of dealing with journalists. I was absolutely shocked to see that and how that was authorised from a governance perspective in terms of who decided that that was the best step to follow.”

Moroe apologised for the mishap and committed to ensuring “far more frequent” communication and transparency. “Too many people have made the ultimate sacrifice for the privilege of free speech and I’d like to apologise to SANEF and all of your members for any harm that was caused during our accreditation error in judgement.

“I would also like to apologise to our sponsors for the ambiguity of the CSA tweet yesterday where we thanked our sponsors for their support – it wasn’t our intention for that tweet to infer support for the accreditation blunder but instead to thank them for our longstanding partnerships.”

The CSA board consists of 12 members – the president Chris Nenzani, the six presidents from the affiliates provinces – Beresford Williams, Zola Thamae, Tebogo Siko, Donovan May, Jack Madiseng and Angelo Carolissen – and five independent directors namely Mohamed Iqbal Khan, Dawn Mokhobo, Shirley Zinn, Steve Cornelius and Marius Schoeman CS. The inclusion of independent members came in 2012 after Gerald Majola was forced out because of the 2009 IPL bonus scandal.