Monday, February 11, 2008

Arendse challenges Majola but immediate issue resolved

Norman Arendse, seen here giving a medallion to Shaun Pollock, believes the national squad should reflect the demographics of the country...

The crisis surrounding the top leadership of Cricket South Africa (CSA) seems to have intensified with the president, Norman Arendse, reacting sharply to a statement made on Sunday by the CEO, Gerald Majola, on the CSA general council's resolution to remove the national coach, Mickey Arthur, from the selection panel.

However, the immediate issue itself may have been resolved with Arendse saying he had asked for the resolution to be amended, effectively reinstating Arthur on the selection panel.

Majola had called the original decision, taken on Saturday, as "unconstitutional" but Arendse questioned his authority to make that statement. "No individual can decide that a general council resolution is unconstitutional," Arendse told News 24. "He [Majola] could request a review or rescind."

However, Arendse conceded he was unaware of the clause in Arthur's contract that states his duties include serving as a national selector. "I was not aware of this clause and, in light of the resolution taken earlier in the day by the general council, I informed the selectors, general council members and the coach [Arthur] that the coach be included in the selection deliberations for the squad to tour Bangladesh."

The team for that tour is due to be picked on Monday and Arendse said he had asked the convener of the selectors, Joubert Strydom, that the selection process be carried out in conformity with CSA's transformation policy.

He added that he was pleased to note that Majola has said in his statement that the complaint against Arthur will be investigated. Arendse had laid formal charges against Arthur, that he was being "disrespectful" and "abusive" and "cocking a snook at his employers' policy of transformation."

The issue blew up last week when the selectors picked a side for the Bangladesh tour that included four black players, though the CSA policy stipulates that a minimum of seven in any national squad. However, Arendse refused to approve the squad - the reason he gave at the time was that it excluded the injured Neil McKenzie and Andre Nel, and Arendse sought to hold the squad announcement pending their fitness assessment on Monday. He also said his role was not to rubber-stamp the squad but to oversee the transformation process. That sparked off the war of words, with Arthur, a member of the selection panel, calling Arendse "power-crazy" and "egotistical". The matter was taken up by the CSA's general council, which met on Saturday and recommended Arthur be relieved of his duties as a national selector.