Retired constitutional court justice Zak Yacoob, who chairs the Interim Board, said Thursday its most important task over the next few weeks, is the manner in which Cricket SA’s Members Council goes about ensuring that an independent Board of Directors will run the federation in the future.
For that to happen, the Members Council needs to change the Memorandum of Incorporation, to ensure that the new, permanent Board reflects the recommendations contained in Judge Chris Nicholson’s report which was drawn up a decade ago following the Commission of Inquiry in the 'bonus scandal.'
When Yacoob and his board departs, which for now is scheduled to be February 15, he wants the necessary structure in place to ensure that not only is the board independent, but that it is also responsible for the day to day affairs of the federation. "Our main objective is to ensure the memorandum of incorporation and the board charter accurately reflects and changes in accordance with the Nicholson report," said Yacoob.
"Nicholson concentrated on the need for an independent board and we are trying to work through what an independent should be, what its power should, the powers of the members council and how they should relate to each other."
"You can’t have two centres of power and our preference at the moment is for the board to be the centre of power in terms of day to day operational matters. There should be a division between the board and the Members Council, and that that is the route we should go and make absolutely certain that the majority of members of the future board are independent, in compliance with the Nicholson Report."
Yacoob felt that the Members Council would be open and honest in its deliberations with the board. "I suspect that there will be differences of opinion, I'm quite sure that the Members Council wants to make sure everything is done in the interests of cricket. But there can be genuine and justifiable differences of opinion about how independent the board should be.
He also said he was confident that Australia’s Test tour of South Africa would go ahead, although he cautioned that the unpredictability of the Covid-19 virus could yet cause plans to change.
"I had a chat with the chair of Cricket Australia (Earl Eddings) about a week ago and we agreed that the tour is going to go ahead, "he told a virtual press conference.
A three-Test tour was originally scheduled to take place during February and March but an aborted limited overs tour by England late last year led to speculation that either the tour might not take place or that it could be switched to Perth in Western Australia.
The tour is now expected to go ahead in March or April.
Rihan Richards, the acting president of the Members Council confirmed that a meeting between the Council and the Interim Board would take place by next Tuesday at the latest. "We basically want a progress report," said Richards, who added that the Council and Board had not met formally since the end of November.
Richards said he was in the dark about any extension, but he was seeking a three way meeting between the Members Council, Interim Board and Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s office.
The press conference was called to provide an update on progress towards establishing a new structure for CSA following the resignation of the previous board last year.