Liam Brickhill is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
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Cricket South Africa has declared a loss of Rand 200 million (US$13.5 million approx) for the 2018-19 financial year after their AGM in Johannesburg on Saturday.
CSA's approved financial statements, published in their integrated report for 2019, detailed the losses, which, incidentally, marked an improvement on the budgeted losses of R222 million ($15 million approx). CSA put the improved result down to cost-cutting initiatives, as well as increased investment returns. The board's total revenue for the year was R929 million ($63 million approx) down from R1.5 billion ($101 million approx) over the previous year.
CSA's financial statements showed that the organisation still has a cash balance of R349 million ($23.5 million approx), as well as reserves of more than R850 million ($57.5 million approx). The chair of CSA's finance committee, Iqbal Khan, also revealed that plans had been put in place that had reduced the previously projected deficit of R654 million ($44 million approx) over the next four years down to R120 million ($8 million approx).
"There are those CSA bashers who peddle the narrative that we are bankrupt, but our only crime is that we were transparent and honest," CSA president Chris Nenzani said in his address at the AGM. "We did our own sustainability analysis, which showed us that if we did not do anything, there would be a R654 million hole. We said that, we raised the alarm, whatever the populist narrative says."
In the context of the four-year financial cycle on which CSA operates, in the previous financial year, CSA recorded profits of R350 million ($24 million approx). Prior to that, there were losses of R158 million ($11 million approx), while in 2015-16, there were profits of R107 million ($7 million approx).
Much depends on the incoming tours: last season, South Africa hosted Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, all three of which were loss-making tours. The previous season, Australia and India visited, resulting in much larger profits. The England and Australia men's teams will be visiting South Africa in the coming season.
Nenzani also broached the subject of the recent restructuring exercises in CSA's administration. He said that the chief executive, Thabang Moroe, had been given greater responsibility, rather than greater power.
"Our board decisions have always been taken unanimously or by consensus and there is also a healthy relationship between the board and the senior management," Nenzani said. "The board has given the senior management and specifically our chief executive more responsibility, not power, and with that comes an escalated level of responsibility. The CEO remains accountable to the board and we will hold him to that."
Nenzani also focused on South Africa's performance at the men's World Cup, calling it "a monumental failure", and the reason behind the board's decision to introduce a new team structure.
It was also confirmed at the AGM that Nenzani would serve an extra year as CSA's president. Board vice-president Beresford Williams suggested that the extension was necessary to keep CSA on a stable footing as the organisation restructured.
"The board and the members' council agreed that we would ask Chris to stay on because there are a number of changes about our cricket at the moment, we're looking at our whole model and making fundamental changes, and we felt we needed him to share his expertise and wisdom," Williams said. "It was a unanimous decision. We are fully confident in the leadership we have, they have led well and the results and outcomes have been pretty good."
As well as being CSA president, Nenzani is on the ICC's board of directors and is chairman of the future tours programme and finance committee.