Head of Cricket South Africa suspended for accusations of misconduct

JOHANNESBURG: Cricket South Africa ( CSA ) announced Friday that the executive director Thabang Moroe He had been suspended for accusations of misconduct as the body faces a growing crisis.

Shortly before it was announced that Moroe had been suspended, the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) called for the resignation of Moroe and the entire CSA board, while a major sponsor announced it would not renew its agreement, linking their withdrawal directly to events which have engulfed the governing body.

He also followed a call from Gauteng Lions , one of CSA 's major provincial affiliates, for the resignation of Moroe and the board.

Gauteng demanded the support of seven other affiliates, which would give those who request a change a majority in the Council of 14 members, which in turn elects the board.

CSA said in a statement that Moroe had been placed on precautionary suspension on full pay following reports from CSA 's social and ethics committee and the audit and risk committee. An independent forensic audit would take place.

Dave Richardson, the former executive director of the International Cricket Council, would be asked about the appointment of an interim executive director.

In a statement issued after a meeting on Friday morning, SACA called for the appointment of a competent acting chief executive and an independent investigation into the affairs of CSA, including a full review of the organization's financial position.

Extremely poor leadership, both at the operational level and at the board level, is what has brought cricket to this disastrous position, said SACA chief executive Tony Irish.

Although SACA raised the possibility of an industrial action at the beginning of the week, Irish said that such action would only be taken as a last resort and would not be carried out during an upcoming tour of England.

We are very aware of the importance of this series for Proteas and England, for the many fans of both countries and for the media and business partners.

Irish said it was crucial to establish a structure around the South African men's team before touring England, involving experienced, credible and reputable cricketers.

The first of the four events begins on December 26, followed by one day and twenty games.

The Proteas will face one of the best teams in the world, Irish said.

We know that players will give 110 percent to South Africa in the field, but it is essential that there is an appropriate professional structure around the team.

The way in which CSA has dealt with this to date, and the fact that nothing is in place, is totally unacceptable. It is ludicrous to expect players to be selected by unknown selectors.

Earlier, a spokesman for Standard Bank, which sponsors the national team, announced they would not renew their agreement with CSA, which expires on April 30.

In light of recent developments at CSA, which are a culmination of long-standing problems which have damaged Standard Bank's reputation, it has decided not to renew its partnership, said Thulani Sibeko, the bank's chief marketing and communications officer.

The Central Gauteng Lions board demanded the immediate resignation of the board and Moroe following a meeting on Thursday night.

The CSA board is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting on Saturday following a week of drama sparked by the withdrawal of the accreditation of five journalists, which led to widespread criticism of events in South African cricket during Moroe's tenure.

Two independent board members resigned before Saturday's meeting.