Recently Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat led a small delegation of colleagues to Harare to chat with their counterparts at Zimbabwe Cricket about ways in which ‘big brother’ might be able to help their ailing little brother get back on his feet after a decade-and-a-half of illness.
ZC said they desperately needed fixtures and urged CSA to agree to a series of regular (and lucrative) ODIs between the neighbours in the manner of the ongoing Chappell/Hadless series between Australia and New Zealand.
Never mind that the Proteas have embarked on their busiest year ever, Lorgat pointed out that arranging fixtures was pointless with a broken infrastructure. Even when Zimbabwe did have regular international fixtures, the money always seemed to disappear before it could find its way into the domestic game.
Lorgat pointed out that CSA now has one of the most efficient and transparent governance structures in any sport and offered to assist ZC in putting their own house in order. But they wanted fixtures. Lorgat said there was no point…they asked again. Lorgat said… you get the point.
In the first few years after unity and the formation of the United Cricket Board, “due process” meant Dr.Ali Bacher saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Committee members were even told what they had agreed to retrospectively when Bacher needed to make a decision quickly. It was undemocratic but efficient, in an arbitrary sort of way.
These days there is a process for everything. Everything is done by the book – and sometimes it makes no sense. Every cricketing person involved in the “process” of debating the merits of forming a new, seventh franchise team for domestic cricket agreed that it was a good idea. CSA’s own Cricket Committee recommended it. And the Board of Directors blocked it. Due process.
When head coach Russell Domingo’s contract was first due to expire in April, the same Board of Directors added a six-month extension to it, carrying it forward to August, after the tour of England. They justified this decision on the basis of some outstanding results including the test series win against New Zealand and the 5-0 ODI whitewash against Australia.
Since then the team has beaten Australia in a test series and whitewashed Sri Lanka. Now, however, “due process” means Domingo must send his CV to the Board (again), along with anyone else who wants to apply.
At the very least, the timing of the announcement is puzzling.