South Africa news September 17, 2008

Arendse quits as Cricket South Africa president

Cricinfo staff

Norman Arendse: "It is important that the person who presides over cricket in our country enjoys the full trust and confidence of his chief executive officer, and all 11 affiliates. Currently, I enjoy neither." © Getty Images

Cricket South Africa's president Norman Arendse has resigned from his post, even though he has two years of his term left to serve, because he never at "any stage enjoyed the full trust and confidence of the CEO [Gerald Majola], and all 11 affiliates". Gerald Majola, the CSA chief executive, has received Arendse's resignation with "surprise and regret" and has said that the president had given no prior indication of his intention to resign.

CSA has announced that its vice-president, Logan Naidoo, will act as president until the board elections are held.

"It is important that the person who presides over cricket in our country enjoys the full trust and confidence of his chief executive officer, and all 11 affiliates who are the custodians of the game," Arendse said in a statement in Cape Town. "Currently, I enjoy neither - and it does not assist me that I may enjoy constitutional protection against my removal at this stage until my three-year term ends in August 2010.

"The truth of the matter is that although I was returned unopposed as president of Cricket South Africa [CSA] in August 2007 for a three-year term, I never at any stage enjoyed the full trust and confidence of the CEO, and all 11 affiliates. The CEO is of the view that the president is merely a ceremonial head there to preside over meetings, and to attend matches, and functions.

"By contrast, I hold the view that the CEO is employed by the board, and is accountable to it. The president, in between meetings, stands in the shoes of the employer [the board], and the CEO is accountable to him. As a consequence of these sharply contrasting positions, the relationship between the CEO and I, has broken down irretrievably. Should we continue in this way, there is a real danger that cricket may be plunged into a crisis, and the game be brought into disrepute.

"The office of the president of CSA must be respected, and be supported by all, including the CEO and all 11 affiliates - at all times. This is currently not the case: historically, the 6:5 split in South African cricket has bedevilled the administration of the game in South Africa, and has reared its ugly head again."

Majola, however, said that he was surprised that Arendse cited "irretrievable differences" between them as one of the reasons for his resignation. "The differences between us were of management style, and hardly irretrievable in my view," Majola said. "I also question Mr Arendse's statement that I do not respect the office of the president. My office operates totally under the corporate governance regulations outlined in the King 2 code of business conduct and this includes the relationship between policy and operations."

Arendse also said that Western Province, Boland, Eastern Province, Border, and KwaZulu-Natal were traditionally the affiliates that were supportive of transformation in cricket and that the other affiliates had battled to come to terms with transformation, and in some instances, transformation was completely lacking, and remained a foreign concept.

"The CEO, and others, have done well to exploit these differences, and as a result, six of these affiliates have apparently indicated that they no longer have confidence in me. The charges against me appear to be my transformation agenda, and my demand of the CEO that he be accountable to me in my representative capacity as the president of the board. I plead guilty to both charges, and have nothing to say in mitigation of sentence!"

The rift between Arendse and a powerful section of the board was exposed before the national team's tour to Bangladesh early this year, when the president reportedly refused to approve the squad chosen by the six-man selection committee because it contained fewer than seven coloured players. Arendse was forced to backtrack but drew flak from within during the ICC's annual conference in Dubai in June where he spoke out strongly against national politics affecting cricket in Zimbabwe, a traditional ally.

The divide deepened as CSA initiated moves to transform into a non-profit body, which would require a restructuring of its administration. Ray Mali, the former ICC president who was once an ally of Arendse, has been linked with the group that moved against the president and is said to be backing Gauteng's president Mtutuzeli Nyoka, who is widely tipped to be the new CSA chief.

Arendse said that he had been involved in the administration of the sport in order to ensure that the disadvantaged, underprivileged, and poor were given equal opportunities and he hoped that his successor would continue the policy.

Despite the revenue stream from the Champions League, and the recent Test victory in England, Arendse said that challenges remained in terms of grass-root development.

"Our schools, rural, and club cricket is in a mess; and funding for grassroots amateur cricket needs to be increased exponentially," Arendse said. "This requires the budget of CSA to be totally transformed to address the real and tangible needs of the previously disadvantaged, the less privileged, needy and poor cricketers."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • DaveT on September 20, 2008, 16:56 GMT

    Good riddance to yet another political meddler.

  • nomore on September 19, 2008, 23:51 GMT

    i think all of you'll are sweet talkers and chauvinist,. how can you make comments bordering on racism. for 40 years whites had all glory, your school had the best facilities, and all the equipment money could buy. the rest of the world do not know what extend the non white population were literally isolated and made aliens in their own land.

    If black Cricketers like Lara, Richards and Tendulkar are so good, once given the oppurtunity, can you imagine if black cricketers in SA are given the opportunity?

    In a country which is 80% black, such a demographic never appears in the sports team?

    Hell, even the Australian Rugby team, has more non white players than SA, and there are less Non whites in Australia in Comparison to South Africa.

    In SA people who attend private schools are given the best opportunity, and no one else

  • IKKI on September 18, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    It is a sad day for cricket when we let someone of the calibre of Norman Arendse leave CSA for personal grudges. He is a man of integrity and is sincere in his attempts to reform the racist elements and undertones within CSA. Agreed skin of colour should not take precedence over skill and ability when chosing the best team so why are the white adamant that only whites can play cricket and are miffed when players of colour are given an opportunity. Some of the best players in history have been people of colour, like Brian Lara, Viv Richards, Wasim Akram, Imran Khan, Sachin Tendulkar to name a few.

  • OliverChettle on September 18, 2008, 11:22 GMT

    Cricket South Africa needs a President who supports good cricketers regardless of their skin colour, not one who will always discriminate against a white player given a chance, and is proud to do so. Teenage white cricketers coming through the system now were hardly out of nappies when Apartheid ended, and it is disgusting to make them victims of racial and political activism and discrimination.

  • GB_Stratton on September 18, 2008, 6:54 GMT

    Sadly, politics and sport are once again being mised. Arendse deserves to pay the price for political meddling in selectorial matters. When will our administrators learn that opposing teams want to play against the best opposition regardless of race!

  • Mosselbay on September 18, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    Mr. Arendse is a very sweet talker he is only in positions of power for his own ego trip he most definetly do NOT have any sport at heart, when he became Presdent of WPCA it was also done in a very unsportsman way by back stabing other members on the exco at WPCA, by the time he left and thank goodness he did he left WPCA in a real mess which took them 3 seasons to rectify. So all his talk about transformation us purely a front in order to achieve his goals. Sport in SA is much better off without people like him

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