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Ken Borland



There’s 1 positive from T20GL collapse, but will we get the answers? 0

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Ken

 

The only positive to come out of the T20 Global League fiasco right now is that all the best players in South Africa will be available for the domestic T20 competition that will fill the gap created by the collapse of the ambitious but overhyped get-rich-quick scheme.

The CSA T20 Challenge was going to be played from mid-March, in the middle of the Test series against Australia, and would have ended in mid-April, by which time everyone would probably have been exhausted by cricket anyway after what was going to be the most hectic summer in South African history. The tour by India was going to be sandwiched in between the T20 Global League and the arrival of the Aussies.

But now the domestic T20 will actually have a decent window and the participation of the Proteas, so that is at least some good that has come out of the crater-sized hole that has been left in our cricket, both in terms of the calendar and financial resources.

Given the magnitude of the crisis – it has the potential to dwarf the Gerald Majola bonus scandal – it is only right and proper that Cricket South Africa shares with all their stakeholders – the public, the players and sponsors – just how they managed to get this so wrong.

The South African Cricketers’ Association’s call for an independent review to be set up is exactly right, but after the machinations of the board during the bonus scandal (there were a couple of reviews that were disgracefully lacking in integrity), I have some doubts over CSA’s ability to put all their cards on the table so their stakeholders can get to the bottom of exactly what went wrong.

It is obvious that the CSA board once again, as in Majola’s case, allowed their CEO far too much latitude to just operate on his own, doing what he liked without proper oversight. Another CEO told me that Haroon Lorgat’s sidelining of the chief financial officer from the biggest financial project the organisation has ever undertaken should have set off obvious alarm bells for the board.

The lack of timely action taken by the board (at least they did something before the bleeding became terminal) raises questions over the culpability of their own members in this disaster and that is something that should be within the scope of an independent review.

A more pressing issue is compensation for the players. While CSA are now so financially squeezed that they are like a lemon at a seafood festival, they are going to have to make payouts to the 144 players who were set to play in the T20 Global League.

Many of those had signed on for juicy contracts and have made financial commitments that are now in tatters; many gave up on other opportunities, some of them even at international level. Think of the players who qualified to be rookies this year, but by next year will be 24 and too old.

“The total player loss is very significant and there are many sad stories out there,” SACA head Tony Irish said.

And let’s not forget the bad PR that will follow from many of the top international players who will be spreading news around the world of how disgruntled and let down they feel.

Lorgat used to boast about how CSA were the top sports federation in the country, but after his ignominious fall, they are in the same position they were in when they appointed the former International Cricket Council CEO – desperately trying to win back the confidence of the players and public.

https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/the-citizen-gauteng/20171014/282445644283171

IPL – a circus, a get-rich-quick scheme … and a jamboree of top-class cricketers 0

Posted on July 30, 2015 by Ken

 

The Indian Premier League is a circus, a jamboree, a get-rich-quick scheme and a money-laundering device according to some people, but it is also a gathering of top-class cricketers from the world over, a cacophony of entertainment and a two-month explosion of non-stop action.

Coming from South Africa (how many times a day do you hear a plaintive “only in Africa”?), we should understand that the IPL does things differently and just because the English don’t get it, it doesn’t mean we should turn our noses up at it either.

The best approach to the IPL is probably to just enjoy it for what it is – pretty mindless entertainment and a wonderful way for our marvellous cricketers to be financially rewarded – and not try to fathom how it all works, whether it is financially viable or whether good standards of corporate governance are being followed.

Because if you do probe beneath the garishly-coloured uniforms, skimpy cheerleader outfits and Shah Rukh Khan’s shiny suits, you are going to find controversies aplenty.

The IPL has tentacles that reach as high as the Indian government: When the Kochi Tuskers were dumped in 2011 for defaulting on payments to the governing body, it led to an Indian minister resigning from the cabinet because he had been using his influence improperly.

This year’s major controversy has been the banning of Sri Lankan players from Chennai, the home of the Super Kings, because the chief minister of Tamil Nadu has said she cannot guarantee their security in the wake of protests over the treatment of Tamils in the island just to the south of the mainland.

How a vote-seeking politician, pandering to populist interests, has been able to hold a multi-billion dollar international tournament to hostage has baffled many people. But then the president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, who own the IPL, is Narayanaswami Srinivasan, whose cement company just happens to be based in Chennai and which owns the Super Kings.

The conflicts of interest are glaring, but that’s just how things operate in Indian cricket and the Super Kings are certainly not the only team to have stakeholders with interests in the administration as a whole.

Cricket South Africa have shown a tendency to believe this is how things can be run over here as well, but hopefully the public outrage that forced them to ditch former chief executive Gerald Majola, who was corrupted by the IPL millions, will keep the current board on the straight and narrow.

Although the IPL has attracted much more money than any other cricket tournament in the history of the game, there are strong indications that the current largesse is not financially sustainable.

The last two seasons have seen the lowest television viewership figures of the six years the event has been in existence, while the base price the new Hyderabad Sunrisers paid for the bankrupt Deccan Chargers was roughly half as much as the BCCI charged for the Pune and Kochi franchises in 2010.

And Venky Mysore, the chief executive of the Kolkata Knight Riders, admitted recently that, “Everybody has become conscious that player costs are going up and clearly it is not sustainable from a franchise point of view.”

Allegations of match-fixing and black money (unaccounted for) payments saw five players banned last year, but those in the know suggest there is much more malfeasance waiting to be uncovered.

In other embarrassments, Shah Rukh, the owner of the Knight Riders, was given a five-year ban from the Wankhede Stadium by the Mumbai Indians after he was involved in an unseemly altercation with security there last year, while Dale Steyn was threatened with a law suit by the Chargers for not fulfilling his contract, even though they no longer existed as a franchise!

This was also after Steyn, and Bangalore Royal Challengers star AB de Villiers, were both paid several months late by their franchises.

While Steyn and De Villiers are in the prime of their careers and obviously command top dollar, one of the charms of the IPL is that it allows international stars to keep entertaining their fans late in their careers.

Instead of sitting in their rocking chairs, the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee are still out there performing for two months a year.

It was Lee who began IPL 6 on the perfect note by bowling India U19 star Unmukt Chand with a cracking first ball of the tournament; and was then clobbered for four by Mahela Jayawardene off the second delivery.

And who cannot be thrilled with the sight of Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar opening the batting together for the Mumbai Indians?

There are 76 matches in all, so there will no doubt be many more oohs and aahs to come.

South Africa is well-represented by Albie Morkel, Chris Morris and Faf du Plessis at the Chennai Super Kings; Johan Botha, Morné Morkel and Roelof van der Merwe at the Delhi Daredevils; David Miller (Punjab Kings XI), Jacques Kallis and Ryan McLaren at KKR, Wayne Parnell (Pune Warriors), De Villiers with the Royal Challengers and Steyn, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock with rookies Hyderabad Sunrisers.

The Delhi Daredevils and Bangalore Royal Challengers, both consistent challengers for the title, are coached by South Africans in Eric Simons and Ray Jennings respectively, while Allan Donald is Pune’s bowling coach.

Interference by team owners – one coach famously had to field a player who could hardly walk – is a hardship they have to put up with. But if the dollars they are earning don’t compensate sufficiently, then they can always take a cue from the rest of us and just realise that it’s two months of cricket that doesn’t really mean a whole lot.

It’s more about entertainment than sporting excellence, and we can be thrilled by that too.

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-04-10-ipl-enjoy-it-while-it-lasts/#.VcH4hfmqqko



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