Cricket South Africa came out with a statement on Wednesday, announcing the ‘precautionary suspension’ of certain senior employees for their alleged involvement in the non-payment of players fees and subsequent dereliction after the Mzansi Super League in 2018.
While the CSA release does not explicitly mention who the employees are, a report by Cricinfo on Tuesday stated that interim director of cricket Corrie van Zyl, COO Naasei Appiah, and commercial manager Clive Eksteen are the individuals who have been suspended. The South African Cricketers Association (SACA) led the charge against CSA, accusing CSA to be derelict in their duties after the alleged non-payment of fees in the 2018 Mzansi Super League.
Through their CEO Tony Irish, SACA had claimed last week that CSA owed the South African Professional Cricketers Trust 2.5 million Rands, going by a commercial agreement around player rights that was signed in November 2018.
The purpose of the agreement was to ensure that the players in last year's MSL would benefit financially from any revenue generated from their own rights including sponsorships, image rights and media appearances.
“The Board and Management of Cricket South Africa (CSA) has recently become aware of an unfortunate situation involving players and player contracts, through player intermediary, the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) in which speculation and indeed allegations of dereliction were levelled against CSA, following alleged non-payment of player fees, stemming from the Mzansi Super League arrangement, in 2018,” the CSA release said.
“Whilst the investigation of this matter is in progress, employees who are alleged to have been involved in this matter have been placed on precautionary suspension until the investigation is completed, following which disciplinary action could be instituted against the affected employees.
“While CSA regrets this unfortunate situation, as an organisation that promotes good governance and excellence in performance, we are pleased to report that, once uncovered, CSA successfully and quickly addressed this situation with SACA. In this regard an agreement was wherein all fees due to players will be transferred to SACA with immediate effect and through this mutual agreement, CSA and SACA have averted all potential interruptions to the game of cricket.”
CSA’s chief executive Thabang Moore also said, “CSA wants to reassure all cricket fans and all cricket stakeholders that our organisation and indeed our staff adhere to the highest ethical standards in all our dealings and that consistency and accountability remains uppermost in all our processes and procedures.
“It is our expectation that all our staff members, including third-party stakeholders who are associated with the CSA brand should protect the reputation of CSA and the sport of cricket at all times.”
Incidentally, it was only last week that van Zyl confirmed that he wanted to apply for the role of South Africa head coach on a permanent basis, following which the news of his suspension was announced.