Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
Kugandrie Govender, Cricket South Africa's chief commercial officer, has been appointed acting CEO following Dr Jacques Faul's resignation this week. Govender is the first woman to take on the role of heading the game's governing body in South Africa.
No term limit has been set on Govender's role as CSA continues to deal with the case of suspended CEO Thabang Moroe, who has been out of the office since December last year. Moroe is facing allegations of serious misconduct but has yet to conclude disciplinary proceedings. He met with CSA last week and is expected to have further discussions with the board this week; even if he is dismissed, CSA will still need to undertake a recruitment process for a new CEO. Govender can thus expect to be in charge for a significant period of time. Her predecessor, Faul, was in the role for eight months and stepped down four weeks before his contract was up.
Govender takes over at a time when CSA is lurching through several crises. The organisation is also without a president after Chris Nenzani resigned on Monday, three weeks before his term was due to end. A new president will be elected at the AGM on September 5. CSA has also recently parted ways with COO Naasei Appiah and head of sales and sponsorships Clive Eksteen, who are both contesting their dismissals in court. Further, CSA has been unable to secure a television rights or sponsorship deal for the franchise T20 competition, the Mzansi Super League (MSL) and all indications are that it will not be played this summer, which may also see scant international action. South Africa's borders remain closed due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and yesterday, the women's team were denied government permission to travel to play a series in England, despite the ECB offering to charter a flight and create a biosecure bubble.
That leaves Govender with a range of challenges including that of continued racial disunity, which she mentioned as a top priority. "CSA's mandate is to ensure that cricket is an inclusive sporting code for all South Africans," Govender said. "It is important to improve our reputation both locally and internationally. This is a critical time for our organisation and crucial for key stakeholders to work together to improve the rating of cricket among those who love, support, and follow the sport and those who have trust in the sport's ability to unify all South Africans. We will work hard to improve the levels of pride amongst our stakeholders and I am humbled to be a part of the collective that commits itself to ensure that CSA is a federation of which South Africans are proud."
Govender's previous experience includes working as a sales executive for several media companies, including Octagon productions who were involved in the television production of the FIFA World Cup, as a business development manager for a strategic marketing company and most recently, as head of sales and marketing at a school.
"We believe that Kugandrie is the right person to drive the organisation forward during this period," CSA's acting president Beresford Williams said. "Her experience has more than prepared her to fulfill this role with excellence, we are confident that she will propel the many strategic initiatives that CSA undertakes, to inspire and unify our stakeholders, partners, and employees, to continue the work of building the reputation of cricket and more importantly Cricket South Africa, so as to contribute to its sporting competitiveness."