Cricket South Africa has lost its arbitration case against the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA), with costs. That means the WPCA board, which was suspended by CSA in September over concerns relating to their governance and financial affairs, will need to be reinstated. On Wednesday morning, CSA confirmed it will not be challenging the decision.
On September 22, CSA disbanded the WPCA board and installed veteran administrator Andre Odendaal in its place. CSA and the WPCA had disagreements over a construction project at Newlands Cricket Ground. CSA provided WPCA with a loan of R81 million (US$5,5 million) to complete the building work, which will house a college, offices and several other facilities but then expressed concerns over the progress of the project. CSA also hinted that spectator safety could be compromised during the New Year's Test and suggested the fixture would be moved but then confirmed Newlands will host England from January 3.
Three weeks after the board was suspended, the WPCA launched an urgent application for CSA's decision to be overturned. The WPCA argued that CSA had "no right or entitlement," to step-in and should have held a hearing before suspending the board. CSA and the WPCA went to mediation to attempt to resolve the issue but failed and then proceeded to arbitration, which was won by WPCA.
CSA is also facing a second legal battle, against the South African Cricketers' Association, who have taken the board to court over a proposed restructure to the domestic system. CSA wants to implement a 12-team provincial competition from the 2020-21 season which would wipe out the existing six-team franchise structure and create one domestic tier (South Africa currently has two).