Cricket South Africa‘s woes continued this week when Sascoc, which oversees all sport in the country, decided it was time to step in.

But CSA isn’t sitting back and accepting the intervention. They’re taking legal advice as questions are asked about whether the move constitutes government interference.

There’s also an element of irony in the fact that Sascoc itself has been the subject of questions and queries regarding its own governance.

Cricket South Africa’s administrative woes have been going on for years. But they reached a head in December last year when CEO Thabang Moroe was suspended, with questions raised about audit and ethics reports.

Within days, Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher were appointed as to run the cricket side, while Jacques Faul took over as acting CEO.

Faul announced that an independent forensic audit would take place, but that itself has created huge fall out. The report was delayed, and has now been kept secret, even from parliament.

Clive Eksteen, Nasser Appiah and Moroe were all fired as the crisis dragged on. Some members of the board had enough and resigned. That eventually culminated last month with the resignation of Board President Chris Nenzani and Jacques Faul.

They’ve been replaced temporarily by Beresford Williams and Kugandrie Govender, respectively. All of this continued even as the sport reeled with revelations of racism and internal division in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter protests.

Meanwhile, the forensic report remains secret. CSA pulled out of their scheduled meeting at parliament last week, but this week they did talk to Sascoc. It didn’t end the way they hoped.

Sascoc held a meeting and decided enough is enough. Acting Sascoc CEO Ravi Govender says they want the entire board and senior administrators, including Smith and Govender, to step aside.

But they’ve also been asked to co-operate with an independent task team to be appointed to get to the bottom of the problems.

“We believe that to protect them and to give them an opportunity to defend or exonerate themselves from any wrongdoing, it’s best that they step aside, create an uninhibited environment to review all these issues and make recommendations to Sascoc.”

Unpacking Cricket South Africa leadership woes: 

CSA sent out their response at 1 o’clock on Friday morning. They’re taking legal advice about whether the request constitutes interference, and are holding an emergency workshop this weekend to discuss their next steps.

Ravi Govender says Sascoc is confident that the concerns the world governing body, the International Cricket Council, might have, are unfounded.

“We are not government and this is not government intervention. We have noted the response from Cricket South Africa in terms of them rejecting the proposed intervention by Sascoc and their intention to take legal advice.”

But a further meeting hasn’t happened. CSA is still not making the forensic reports available, and they are not prepared to discuss the appointment of a task team.

Govender says that just means they’ll have no input on who will control the sport while the investigations are happening.

Govender insists they are not under administration, which would breach ICC rules, but they might nevertheless be run by people outside the sport for the next few weeks at least. All this is happening while the players sit idle, hoping that they’ll be able to resume action post-COVID-19 sooner rather than later.

Sascoc reiterates calls for CSA Board to step down: