Much has been written about the wretched and embarrassing shenanigans going on in Cricket South Africa. And much more could have been written but, despite the bitter and ill-considered reaction that some of the game’s leaders have had towards reporters on their sad spats, many have held back. Held a lot back.
There may be a perception that reporters and journalists are in competition to produce the most sensationalist stories and therefore sell more newspapers (or generate more internet traffic) but that sad principle applies far more to countries like the UK, America and Australia. The tabloid industry is in its infancy in South Africa. Sports writers, and cricket writers in particular, are far more driven by following the facts and unearthing the truth than by creating drama.
So, in recent days, following the letter written by the SA Cricketers Association (SACA) to both CSA president Mtutuzeli Nyoka and its chief executive Gerald Majola, there has been a reluctant ‘backing off’ on the financial impropriety story going on at the Wanderers for the last two years.
The country’s professional players, through SACA, have urged their leaders to grow up, take responsibility for their actions and get the game back on track. While Journalists cannot be expected to follow suit (we have a different job to do), it is notable that most of us who follow the game for a living appear willing to agree to a ‘ceasefire’ during which the protagonists might attempt to reach agreement on the way forward.
If they don’t, the mess will be greater and more damaging than ever. And it won’t be of our making.
Recently it was brought to my attention by the ‘headline’ leaders – or their spokespeople – that the financial scandal was not of their making, but of the directors on the CSA board. Hilarious. If the tail really is wagging the dog then CSA is in even worse shape than any of us ever imagined.
Hashan Tillekeratne’s recent comments about match-fixing in Sri Lankan Cricket have raised a few eyebrows. The selection of the final XI for the World Cup final was utterly bizarre and, to most experts, inexplicable along cricket lines. All Gary Kirsten would say was that the Indian team were “delighted” by the changes. “We felt that their final XI made our job a lot easier,” Kirsten said.
Joyous celebration at the death of Osama bin Laden has been tough to stomach. Americans and Europeans have great need for a ‘target’ for their anger, but celebrating a ‘new world’ because one man is no longer here is naïve. Please forgive me for even suggesting that global terrorism and cricket’s ongoing battle against corruption could be equally compared, but there is a tiny similarity. For every successful counter-attack, there are another ten attacks being planned.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to get in touch.