Judge Chris Nicholson and his committee of inquiry have announced that Cricket South Africa's CEO Gerald Majola intentionally tried to cover a breach of the Companies Act.


Below is Nicholson's full statement made in Pretoria on 9 March 2012:



On behalf of the committee I would like to thank you for attending this press conference this morning. May I say at the outset that our report is a unanimous one and I shared the most wonderful cooperation and assistance from my fellow committee members Ms Zolisa Zwakala and Mr Freeman Nomvalo.

I would also like to thank Mr Gideon Boshoff the secretary to the committee and Mr Manase Makwela and others of the Department of Sport and Recreation for their support and assistance.

There are many others that we should also thank but it would be most remiss of us not to include the Blue Bulls Rugby Franchise for making this venue available to us, without charge. We will allow questions at the end but as with our own committee no cross-examination!

On Friday, 11 November 2011, the committee had its first formal meeting with the Minister, who emphasised the importance of the investigation for the future of cricket in our country. In the meeting it was agreed that the committee would commence with its work immediately and make every effort to complete its assignment within one month. The Minister emphasised the independence of the committee and his commitment to ensuring that the committee is supported fully by his Department.

The committee commenced formally with its activities on 23 November 2011, by hearing the oral evidence of 28 witnesses, over an interrupted period of approximately 2 months. Such hearings were concluded on 27 January 2012. Over this period the committee received written inputs of 31 persons/bodies with regard to the committee's terms of reference.

We were also provided with voluminous documentation including a number of books and reports which have been of great assistance to us, including Andre Odendaal's book – "The Story of an African Game".Ashwin Desai, Goolam Vahed and Vishnu Padayachee "The Race to Transform: Sport in Post-Apartheid South Africa", David Crawford and Colin Carter "A Good Governance Structure for Australian Cricket" and Lord Woolf and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP "An independent governance review of the International Cricket Council."

After completing our report we also received the Report of the MCC World Cricket Committee to the ICC Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, however this came too late for inclusion in our deliberations.

Lord Woolf's report to the parent body of cricket the ICC dealt with a review of the world game, but we believe it is very relevant to our own situation. We preface our report with a quote from Woolf's review as follows:

"Cricket is a great game. It deserves to have governance, including management and ethics, worthy of the sport. This is not the position at the present time. This report… identif[ies] the shortcomings and the action which now needs to be taken to remedy this. We have… set out a vision as to the changes that need to be made and the transformation in the situation that these changes should bring about".

We hope that our report will address our own domestic problems in a similar way. The committee addressed two broad issues firstly the payment of bonuses and secondly any structural defects in the administration of Cricket SA ("CSA"). It was tasked to provide recommendations to the Minister as to how to address any problems we identify. In the course of my remarks today I will indicate what recommendations we have made in our report.

The bonus question

The committee was required to investigate and report on possible maladministration in the CSA in relation to payment of bonuses to officials in respect of the Indian Premier League ("IPL") and International Cricket Council Champions Trophy ("Champions Trophy") and the circumstances surrounding those payments. Such investigation had to encompass whether the said bonus payments were made in contravention of any law, in general and Companies Act in particular.

During 2009, as a result of a political election in India and unrest in Pakistan, two cricket tournaments were staged by CSA in this country.

These were the IPL, held from 18 April 2009 to 24 May 2009and the Champions Trophy, held from 24 September 2009 to 5 October 2009.

Mr Gerald Majola the CEO of CSA concluded and signed on behalf of CSA Heads of Agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India ("BCCI") for staging of the IPL tournament. It appears only Majola was a party to the review and conclusion of this contract on behalf of CSA. Even though the initial agreement made no provision for payment of bonuses, it transpired that Majola had surreptitiously negotiated the payment of bonuses with the IPL in a meeting in London during June of 2009.These were paid with the monthly payroll run of CSA on 22 July 2009 and the relevant employees' taxes were deducted.

Majola advised the president Dr. Nyoka that he (Majola) had negotiated with the IPL bonuses for his staff and that the IPL had indeed paid bonuses to his staff. However, he failed to inform Nyoka of his own negotiated bonus, as arranged with the IPL and also refrained from providing Nyoka and members of the Remuneration Committee ("Remco") with the Schedule of Payments relating to the IPL agreement, thereby misleading Nyoka in the process. It was not until an independent internal auditor, Mr D O Thomas ("Thomas") reported that a pool bonus of R2,732,172.00 had been received for the IPL tournament; and an amount of R1,131,062.00 had been paid to Majola and R797,999.00 to Mr. Don McIntosh, the Chief Operating Officer as bonuses, that Nyoka became aware of the true facts surrounding the bonuses.

Majola freely conceded that he had not complied with the provisions of sections 234 et seq of the Companies Act in not disclosing the bonus, but pleaded ignorance of them. His broad denial was contradicted by the extensive evidence of his corporate experience, including the fact that he is a director of seven other companies. He also advocated good corporate governance in terms of King 1 and 2 on a number of occasions, which should have exposed him adequately to the essence of the said provisions.

Before the committee he conceded to a general knowledge of the duty to disclose. A month before the bonuses were secured Prof. Mervyn King had made a presentation to the CSA Board on good corporate governance and director's fiduciary responsibilities during May 2009. Disclosure of interests was a permanent agenda item on CSA's Board meetings.

Majola gave evidence that it was McIntosh, the chief operating officer, who determined the bonuses and drafted a schedule of them on his computer. He did so because he was a quasi-tournament director and therefore senior to Majola with regard to the bonuses.

McIntosh, on the other hand, maintained that Majola determined the bonuses and that McIntosh merely generated a schedule of them, on the instructions of Majola. The latter signed the schedule and the payments were made on 22 July 2009. Overwhelming evidence, however, indicates that Majola (and not McIntosh) was the dominating force behind the allocation of the bonuses and not an unwilling recipient as he sought to portray himself.

As a result of Majola's deliberate concealment of the IPL bonuses, "normal" company bonuses were paid with the approval of Remco of CSA to Majola and staff in May 2009 and in May 2010. Had Remco been aware of the IPL bonuses that had been paid to Majola and CSA staff, the said normal bonuses would not have been considered, alternatively they would have been greatly reduced by Remco.

Mention was made by Majola of the bonuses paid at the Champions Trophy, held in 2007 and one to Dr Bacher in 2003, as a justification for his IPL bonus. That wrongs were committed in the past did not, in any event, in the committee's view, justify any other wrongdoing. We believe that there were numerous features which distinguished the prior two tournaments from Majola's bonuses. They were broadly approved by the appropriate committees both in principle and as to the amounts involved.

The committee is of the view that there is a prima facie case that Majola contravened sections 234, 235 and 236 of the Companies Act in that he had failed to disclose the said bonuses appropriated to him, the CFO, McIntosh and other senior members of staff.

We also dealt with unauthorized travel and other expenses incurred by Majola. Clause 11 of his employment contract provides for reimbursement of his out of pocket expenses, which have been "approved by the Board or are incurred in accordance with principles determined by it from time to time." However, it is clear that he should incur the expense and then justify such with vouchers.

Majola conceded that the travel expenses for his children were not supposed to be paid by CSA. The expenses were paid, he said, by CSA in error as the Travel Agent was supposed to use his private credit card in their possession for his private travel. He explained that the travel office confirmed this was an oversight and the then outstanding amount of approximately R28 000.00 was duly reimbursed.

KPMG conducted an in depth study of travel related expenses for the period of 1 May 2009 to 30 April 2010. KPMG spoke to Majola and asked for documentary and other justification for his expenses, which he provided for some of the items assessed. No reasons, oral or written, were provided to substantiate fifteen flights in all totalling R41 696.

The committee was sceptical that it was an error of his Professional Assistant or the travel agent. They would have been acting on Majola's instructions and it is improbable that they would charge CSA for his children's flights without his instructions, either in general or on specific occasions the said flights were undertaken. It is clear that, without authorization from the Board in general or for a particular trip, the expenses of himself, his wife and children should not have been paid as they could not, in the normal course, be in furtherance of CSA's business.

In dealing with the unauthorised travel and other expenses erstwhile chairman Mr Paul Harris said:

"Well the Khan Commission found R28 000 which Mr Majola then paid back.

The KPMG report found a further R40 000 and I am not certain what happened there, but I also need to highlight that there was a lot of pressure to only investigate one year. Now I believe that this is, to put my corporate governance hat on, this indicates a pattern or a potential pattern of abuse and therefore I believe that a proper investigation should be done going back several years."

As the investigation of KPMG was restricted to a short period with regard to the travel expenses, the committee believes that any further investigation by a disciplinary enquiry should go as far back as CSA records allow. With regard to unauthorized traveling expenses, the committee believes that Majola has been most remiss in asking CSA to pay for travel and other expenses for himself, his wife and his children, that did not relate to CSA business. The committee is, therefore, of the view that there is a prima facie case of non-disclosure and corporate abuse, with regard to the travel and other costs.

After the discovery of the bonuses and travel expenses by Thomas a decision was taken by the CSA Board to appoint an external Commission, headed by ex Chief Justice Langa and Mr John Bester of CSA's finance and commercial committee, to investigate the bonus payments and unauthorized travel expenses. Bester, after having formal discussions with Majola, persuaded Nyoka and the vice president, Mr.AK Khan to initiate an internal review of the IPL bonus issue, rather than an external one.

The press immediately suspected what they called "a massive, but clumsy, cover-up." In a moment of candour Khan said the following during the proceedings of his commission:

"[i]f you look at my opening remarks, I must find that page here, [our task] is to protect the CSA brand and the integrity of the individuals concerned." (Page 250.)

It is hardly the appropriate attitude for an "independent" commission to establish whether Majola and McIntosh committed any breaches of any law by taking the bonuses. We, as the committee, tried in vain to secure the written record of the remarks referred to. We conclude it was either destroyed or deliberately suppressed.

The Commission exonerated Majola and he was repaid his bonus with interest. The committee believes that this Commission was set up to protect Majola from any enquiry by Judge Langa and to minimize any fall out to him.

Part of the terms of reference of the committee related to investigating whether any provisions of the criminal law were breached and whether prosecutions should be instituted. Section 238(2) of the Companies Act provides that breach of the disclosure provisions in terms of sections 234 et seq is an offence and section 441(1)(e) provides the penalty.

These matters should be referred to the office of the National Director of Prosecutions for investigation. Such investigations should also include whether any provisions of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004) ("the Corruption Act") have been contravened. Section 10 provides that any person who is a party to an employment relationship and who, directly or indirectly, accepts from any other person any unauthorised gratification (defined to include money, whether in cash or otherwise) is guilty of the offence of receiving unauthorised gratification. This would apply to both Majola and McIntosh.

The amounts of money paid at the instance of Majola and McIntosh to themselves and other members of staff may be recoverable in civil proceedings. The transactions that underlay these payments may be voidable at the instance of the company and those responsible may be liable to compensate the company for any loss it may have incurred. As McIntosh has resigned no disciplinary enquiry can be held in his case.

Regard should be had to recovering the bonus paid to him by civil action in the courts.

The committee was specifically required to investigate and report on the failure of CSA to adhere to certain recommendations of KPMG and Legal Counsel given the seriousness of the contraventions of the Companies Act. In its report KPMG recommended that CSA should seek legal advice from Senior Counsel, following its forensic investigation into the affairs of Cricket SA. Both Advocates A Bham SC and P Pretorius SC endorsed the fact that the allegations against Majola were serious and that he had contravened the Companies Act, by failing to carry out his fiduciary duty to disclose to CSA all matters relevant to the said bonuses. In addition, Pretorius concluded that Majola should face a disciplinary hearing. It was also the opinion of Pretorius that consideration be given to recovering the bonus amounts paid to Majola. The CSA board then decided at a Board meeting, held in Port Elizabeth on 19 August 2011,after considering these opinions, inter alia, that due to the insufficient disclosure of the bonuses received by Majola in respect of the IPL and Champions Trophy in 2009, Majola be severely reprimanded by CSA. In addition, the bonuses of all the senior management of CSA must be reviewed by CSA. It was decided that no further actions were to be taken against Majola and any of the staff of CSA.

The recommendations of Adv Pretorius SC, it will be recalled, were that a disciplinary enquiry be held for Majola. This was also the view of Adv Norman Arendse SC a former president of Cricket South Africa.

Incidentally these were also the views of Adv Cassim SC who said, without suggesting it was appropriate for Majola, that a disciplinary enquiry was the appropriate procedure in matters of non-disclosure.

He said at pages 63-4 of the Khan Commission report:

"In terms of the Labour Relations Act, if prima facie he has committed misconduct then you give him a disciplinary enquiry… if there is a prima facie case and … the facts speak for themselves, where invariably you are looking at whether there was proper disclosure or not. So the follow up would be a disciplinary enquiry."

We believe there is a prima facie case of non-disclosure concerning the bonuses and irregularities with regard to the travel and other costs. Arendse testified before us and said the following about the actions of the Board with regard to Majola: "I think it is pretty clear that the meeting … in PE [in August 2011] was irregular because the Board at that meeting somehow converted itself into some kind of a DC [disciplinary committee] and allowed Gerald and his legal representative to address the board. And I think that Ray Mali also testified here, played a role in somehow mediating a kind of outcome. And the outcome was, you know a slap on the wrist…I cannot see how a body of persons sitting as a board could have applied their minds to this [KPMG] report and fairly properly and objectively arrived at the outcome that they did. It was clearly networked and by some kind of consensus arrived at. And that is obviously not the way you do it in a proper labour context. The allegations are dealt with, evidence is presented. Parties are given the opportunity to question, cross-examine etc and findings are then made. And based on the finding an appropriate sanction is arrived at. And this did not happen in PE….. If it is true then it ranks as a serious breach of corporate governance…" There are provisions in Majola's contract for suspension for 180 days pending the conclusion of the disciplinary enquiry with pay. The Board should consider such for two reasons. Firstly, it would allow a pro-forma evidence leader/prosecutor free access to all the witnesses and documentation at CSA and secondly, it would be in Majola's own interests to give him time to prepare his defence, unfettered by his normal duties.

The decision by the board of CSA held in Port Elizabeth on 19 August 2011 that due to the insufficient disclosure of the bonuses Majola be severely reprimanded by CSA and that no further actions were to be taken against Majola, has to be rescinded and a new one taken to establish an independent disciplinary enquiry.

We believe that, for the reasons we have referred to, CSA was not sufficiently independent and principled to take the necessary action against Majola, namely that recommended by counsel, to subject him to a disciplinary enquiry, prosecuted and chaired by independent senior advocates, chosen by the chairperson of the Society of Advocates. Should this disciplinary hearing make adverse findings against Majola and mete out a sanction which he considers unlawful, unfair or unjust he can utilise the conciliation and legal system provided for in law, including the CCMA and Labour Courts, as he wishes.

What we are recommending, i.e. an independent disciplinary enquiry, is nothing novel or extraordinary but the normal consequence of alleged misconduct in the workplace which should have taken place but for the machinations of the Khan Commission, once it embarked on damage control to protect Majola.

Lord Woolf said in his review:

"If cricket is to protect the high level of awareness and financial support it currently enjoys, it needs to adopt a robust stance in detecting, exposing and punishing those guilty of misconduct who bring the game into disrepute, irrespective of who is responsible and where, how or when this occurs."

Efficiency of CSA

The committee was required to enquire into, assess and report on the effectiveness and efficiency of the current administration of CSA and in particular identify any aspects of the current administrative system which allows for or encourages undesirable or illegal practices. The c ommittee was also mandated to recommend systems, practices and procedures to improve the administration of CSA, facilitate compliance with applicable laws and to optimise the provision of the services rendered by CSA and its staff. David Becker, Head of Legal and Company Secretary at the ICC suggested as his personal view, as did Tony Irish of the South African Cricketers' Association (SACA"), that there should be an independent governance review of CSA. This has been undertaken at New Zealand Cricket, Cricket Australia and now at ICC and would be of benefit in his view to South Africa.

The evidence and documentation received by the committee revealed that already in 1995 the cricket board of New Zealand Cricket voted itself out of existence and instituted a truly independent model. The committee has studied and endorses the views on corporate governance, embodied in the review of Lord Woolf for the ICC and that of David Crawford and Colin Carter for Australian cricket.

As a result of these findings Cricket Australia was contemplating cutting its board from 14 to 9 and New Zealand had anticipated this in the mid-nineties, when its board was reduced from 13 to seven, now eight. Not just cricket, but the Australian Football League has also moved to a quasi-independent model. Rugby league in Australia and New Zealand had also moved to independent governance and rugby union, in the last mentioned country, was in the process of conducting a review of the manner in which the game was administered. The New Zealand model had been copied by all its provincial administrations.

The review of Lord Woolf, which was released in early February 2012, states that "those members, other stakeholders and the cricketing public in general are entitled to expect the ICC to set an example by adopting standards of excellence in its governance." It deals with governance in the parent body, the ICC, but it has relevance to CSA as a member country in two respects. Some of the recommendations apply specifically to member states and secondly, it would be anomalous if a governance model were recommended and adopted for the parent body and not be applicable, where appropriate, in the member state.

As the committee views corporate governance and ethics as having a universal character, it would be reluctant to suggest that different rules should apply here.

The authors, Desai, Vahed and Padayachee in the book we have mentioned describe how whites in our early history dominated cricket, in what was imported as a colonial game, but that Indians, Coloureds and Africans in the Eastern Cape, also showed interest in the game. To accommodate these "non-white" players the South African Cricket Board of Control ("SACBOC") was established in 1947. The authors point out that, from 1970, as a result of Apartheid, South Africa was isolated from world cricket and, apart from "rebel tours", which incited the wrath of anti-Apartheid activists, as seen to be prolonging the regime, no tests were played for 22 years. The amalgamation of South African Cricket Union ("SACU") and SACBOC in the United Cricket Board ("the UCB") saw a body still dominated by eleven whites, with two Coloureds, five Indians and one African on the first board. By 2008 cricket administration was no longer under white control and according to Desai et al Black empowerment levels were dominant with 66% on the General Council, 63% of permanent staff, 56% of domestic cricket and all the other administrative bodies over 50%.

Independent directors

So the racial dominance by whites has changed in the administration of cricket. The question remains whether the present makeup of the board is the best to achieve the objectivies of CSA. Carter and Crawford and Lord Woolf emphasise the importance of independent directors on the board. Both are emphatic that the role of the independent directors is crucial in areas of high risk to the ethics and governance of the game. Similar sentiments are applicab le to CSA.

Lord Woolf suggested that the tenure of the chairman and board members should be three years with the possibility of a second term (a maximum of six years). Before us Mr H Molotsi, one of the African representatives on the Board, suggested that in addition to the limited tenure of board members, the CSA CEO's contract should comply with best practice internationally, as well as in other SA sports and that he or she should enter into 3-5 year employment contract. Norman Arendse, who is a senior counsel and spent many years in cricket administration, commencing with presidency of Western Province Cricket in 2004, followed by the vice president of the UCB and then president from June 2007 to September 2008, was also in favour of short defined terms of office, which facilitated good clean administration and prevented what he called "empire building and feathering of nests."

The Board of CSA was changed at the 2010 AGM to include all the 11 affiliate Presidents (as opposed to just the 6 Franchise Chairmen), and was comprised of 22 members. The Woolf Review suggests that the optimum board for the ICC would consist of 14 directors who would comprise "an independent Chairman, four Directors representing the Full Members, two Directors representing the Associate Members, three Independent Directors, two Independent Directors representing the wider game, together with the President and Chief Executive in attendance."

Crawford and Carter maintain that the Cricket Australia Board be reformed to a maximum of nine non-executive directors. They point to the fact that the average size of company boards, throughout the English speaking world, is less than ten non-executive directors. A larger board according to them wastes time with procedure, inhibits proper discussion and allows individual directors to shirk their responsibilities without being noticed. Paul Harris stressed that the size of the board, its constitution and structure made it subject to what he called "manipulation" by the management. Nyoka told the committee that the allocation of resources by CSA to the affiliates was a source of great power and he said:

"I can get cooperation to vote this one in and vote that one out, to do this and do that, and that is the problem we have, is that the tail is wagging the dog, and that is the problem we have in Cricket South Africa. The arrangement between the tail and the dog needs some surgery, some correction."

The authors Crawford and Carter say:

"large boards are more easily captured by management than are small boards (and we note a view among some State observers) which is that ‘the CA Board does not do a good job controlling CA management.'"

Lord Woolf and Crawford and Carter emphasise the importance of the Board consisting of competent persons with skills that can contribute to the overall vision of cricket. We echo these views and recommend their adoption in South Africa. They suggest that an analysis of cricket administrations round the world might suggest a predominance of ex-players, accountants or some other category with an insufficient mix of expertise to guide the complex business of cricket administration.

Crawford and Carter advocate that a director has to enjoy support from four out of the six states, in Australia, to be elected onto the Board.

The committee believes that there is merit in such a system. The advantages include a disinclination to favour any province out of proportion to its deserts and a tendency to advance a more national perspective.

The Woolf review suggests that, as a transitional measure, a nomination committee should be set up, consisting of the president and any other directors, selected by the Board, who should seek, if necessary, outside advice to select suitable candidates for the position of chairman and the independent directors.

The committee also believes that directors should be removed by a process similar to their selection, in other words by two thirds of the affiliates voting for such removal. In addition, any major decisions in cricket, such as those relating to a change in formats or an introduction of new leagues, should similarly require the approval of two thirds of the affiliates.

Money for the development of cricket

Crawford and Carter talk about the distribution of money in cricket.

They say "There is a well-observed pattern in sport around the world which is that the money is increasingly concentrated at the very top of the sport and not well distributed to lower levels."

Mr. Majola explained that 87% of the income of CSA came from professional sponsorships, brokers' rights and ICC distributions. He produced figures showing that 26.7% of the budget went to development, 20.5% to the national team and only 4.9% to staff salaries and administration. He explained that R35 million per year was paid to the affiliates from 2001 for development and that there had been increases year by year, culminating in the sum of R300 million in recent years.

These figures seemed to show a strong commitment to spreading the game to disadvantaged areas.

As will appear from the evidence of witnesses analysed in the full report there is a strong body of opinion that grass roots cricket is being neglected. Clearly something is going wrong with the distribution of the money by the affiliates to the programmes for the upliftment of the game in depressed areas.

In considering what role CSA should play in grass roots development, it is important to note that it was registered as a section 21 (non-profit) company as from 1 May 2008. A section 21 company is incorporated with no profit motive or as the section describes – "not for gain". The section deals with tax exempt companies such as those which have as their main object the promotion of religion, arts, sciences, education, charity, recreation or any other cultural or social activity. The association has to apply its profits (if any) or other income, in promoting its main object. The objectives of CSA include the promotion and development of cricket and all its funds should be directed to that objective, subject to the payment of reasonable remuneration.

In its goals of focusing on transformation and development of amateur and professional cricket, CSA always had in mind the earlier commitments in that regard, made on at least two occasions. They are set out in the first instance, in a declaration of intent, at a meeting between SACBOC and SACU in Port Elizabeth, under the chairmanship of Mr Steve Tshwete, on 16 December 1990. In the second place they are to be found in the 1998 Transformation Charter of the UCB.

On the first occasion, CSA and its predecessors pledged to "to develop, to administer and to make available opportunities for all those who wish to play cricket at all levels as soon as possible" and to "administer and share, with immediate effect, the resources within the development field." On the second occasion mentioned there was a commitment to "Our historic and moral duty to ensure that cricket grows and flourishes amongst the truly disadvantaged of society, with the recognition that the majority of the disadvantaged come from our black African communities."

Ray Mali, an experienced cricket administrator and board member, sees the present failures of CSA in the inability to have succeeded in these dreams of transformation and development in the poorest areas.

Arendse, a past president of the UCB explained the reason that section 21 status was acquired was "as a direct result of the Government and Parliament passing a law, making it possible that cricket can retain, instead of paying the tax man, whatever profits are made. The idea being that the money must obviously be ploughed back into the game…"

The committee hereby recommends that the South African Revenue Services ("SARS") be approached and requested to examine the section 21 status of CSA and ascertain whether CSA is complying with the tax benefit conditions established. If CSA is not complying then SARS should put in place measures to ensure that the tax benefit position is maintained. If necessary monitoring standards must be put in place to make sure that there is compliance in future.

Given the early commitments to ameliorating the lot of the poor in all areas of life, there is a role for government in this regard. The committee is aware that Government has encountered budget constraints in implementing improvements in sport. Deputy Minister Gert Oosthuizen told the press in 2006 that the sport budget was the smallest of all departments and R10 per person was being spent on sport at that time. He emphasised the need for infrastructure, organization, programmes, facilities, equipment and human resources.

The change in racial composition of the board has not yet had any significant impact on the numbers of previously disadvantaged players in the teams. We were told about research by Andrew Sampson of the numbers of players of colour, who had been selected for the national and franchise teams. Of the 116 players selected for the national team since 1991 8 Africans, 17 Coloureds, 5 Indians and 86 white players, of whom 30 were Afrikaans speaking, were selected. Since 2004 in the franchise (provincial) system, 314 players were selected of whom 44 were Africans, 60 Coloureds, 27 Indians and 183 white players.

Our research shows that most black players (including Indians and Coloureds), achieving prominence in national and provincial teams, come from either model C or private schools.

The Woolf review commits the ICC to provide funding "to support the game as a whole, from Test Cricket to grass roots cricket". Outgoing New Zealand chief executive Justin Vaughan, said that their system, with independent non-executive directors, will "devise a best-practice way of managing grass roots sport" and that the innovations, they planned for the development of grass roots sport would provide "a global blueprint for the rest of the world to follow.".

Arendse was emphatic that the manner in which the finances of CSA were dispensed was reducing the potential future pool of cricketers that could be expanded. He said:

"As things are at the moment, [the reason] why we are failing to produce black African cricketers in numbers… is because we have not invested enough in grass roots cricket. And because that is, it goes without saying that is where the numbers are."

This committee urges Government and CSA to give urgent consideration to ploughing more funds into grass roots development of cricket, in previously disadvantaged areas. In this way, not only will the lives of the participants be enriched by this wonderful game, but the pool of quality players from which provincial and national teams are selected, will be enlarged, to the benefit of the whole country. A better national team will bring more funds from sponsors and the initial investment will be more than justified.

We would conclude with a quote which we have placed at the beginning of our report. The words are those of Lord Harris, a cricketer, sometime Governor of Bombay and Lord Randolph Churchill's under-secretary for India, in the late nineteenth century.

"You do well to love cricket, for it is more free from anything sordid, anything dishonourable, than any game in the world. To play it keenly and honourably… is a moral lesson in itself and the classroom is God's air and sunshine. Foster it, my brother, so that it may attract all who can find the time to play it; protect it from any that would sully it, so that it may grow in favour with all men."

This piece originally appeared in Business Day's online version on 9 March 2012.


Related article:

Cricket inquiry into bonus payments

Judge Chris Nicholson and his committee of inquiry announced on 9 March that Cricket South Africa’s CEO Gerald Majola intentionally tried to cover a breach of the Companies Act.