SA independent review 'abandoned'
The four-person independent panel assigned to review South Africa's national teams performance last season has disbanded without completing its work. Sports physiologist Ross Tucker, who was on the panel, confirmed the news to ESPNcricinfo, although he declined further comment until the message had been communicated to CSA's board. Tucker and his fellow panelists informed CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat of their decision last week.
The investigation, which was due to be headed by CSA's head of HR, Dawn Mokhobo, and also included former Test cricketer Adam Bacher and World Cup winning Springbok captain Francois Pienaar, was announced in the aftermath of South Africa's men and women exiting the World T20 after the first round. It was to include an examination of the men's team's poor Test summer, in which they lost back-to-back series to India and England and the national Under-19 side, who failed to defend their World Cup title. The job of Russell Domingo, South Africa's coach, was expected to come under particular scrutiny.
The panel held preliminary meetings at the end of April and discussed the scope and the process of their review, which included identifying timeframes and cost. On Twitter, in conversation with another user, Tucker confirmed that they, "Couldn't agree terms, times and scope/process, so it didn't begin. Pity."
With CSA yet to announce the cessation of the review process, it is uncertain what steps it will take to conduct an analysis of the past summer. An option would be to ask the 14-person panel that is conducting a review into domestic cricket to include the national teams in its scope as well. The findings of the domestic review are set to be revealed in the next two months, with CSA also due to hold its AGM over the winter.
The cancellation of the review process means that Domingo may feel he can breathe a little easier but only just. With his contract expiring at the end of April next year and a Champions Trophy looming, he is still under pressure to prove he can turn the team's fortunes around to stop CSA from starting to search for his replacement.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent