SA CRICKET AT WAR!
National cricket coach Mickey Arthur’s job is in jeopardy after he was accused of blithely ignoring transformation requirements in selecting a squad for Bangladesh reports Murray Williams on IOL.
The president of Cricket South Africa, Norman Arendse, told the Cape Argus on Thursday morning that he had laid formal charges against Arthur with the cricket authority, accusing him of being “disrespectful” and “abusive”.
More important, Arendse accused Arthur of “cocking a snook at his employers’ policy of transformation”.
“If a coach says, ‘There’s no transformation policy’ (among selectors), if he says, ‘Sorry, I’m not prepared to implement Cricket South Africa’s policies’, then his position is untenable,” Arendse said.
The charges he had laid against Arthur would be dealt with by CSA’s chief executive, Gerald Majola, who would establish a disciplinary committee to investigate.
The breakdown in relations between the two men came this week when Arendse questioned the make-up of the Proteas squad due to leave for the tests against Bangladesh shortly.
In response, Arthur rejected reports that he was threatening to resign. He added: “There was nothing that drastic … but the selection panel were very disappointed that we were asked to alter the squad.”
Arthur said that today was “a crucial day”.
“Anything could happen in terms of the composition of the squad. I haven’t thought about what course of action I would take if our squad isn’t ratified”.
Arendse said on Thursday morning that his appointment as CSA president was “unashamedly pro-transformation” and it was his specific job to interrogate the selectors on their progress in transforming the national team from mostly white to a more broadly representative group.
In a teleconference this week, he said he had done this but Arthur had told him he was not a selector, and therefore should not interfere.
“The more I was asking questions about transformation, the more he (Arthur) said they did not have a transformation policy,” Arendse said.
“He questioned the fact that I was even asking questions and holding him to account.”
Arthur had treated his rightful questioning of the squad make-up in a “demeaning way”.
Reports have suggested that Arendse was particularly aggrieved that Herschelle Gibbs and Monde Zondeki were not included in the squad, but he denied naming them.
Arendse said CSA’s General Council would “address urgently” Arthur’s position in the next two days. He had been involved in Arthur’s appointment as coach and his attitude was “hugely disappointing, hugely problematic”.
Reports on Thursday morning suggested that Arendse had, in turn, infuriated Arthur and his fellow selectors. Sources who did not want to be named said Arthur and his fellow selectors, as well as captain Graeme Smith, had considered resigning, and a players’ strike had been threatened.
Responding to the alleged strike threat, Arendse said transformation in South African cricket had always been “managed according to protocol” in other words it had to be negotiated constantly.
He suggested he would welcome a situation in which transformation was openly embraced and vigorously championed by all. He indicated that Arthur did not do so.
Well-informed cricket sources said on Thursday morning that the team would be “deeply traumatised” if Arthur was sacked so close to the squad’s departure.
One said that “Graeme (Smith) is basically running the ship”, but losing Arthur as a difficult few months loomed would be “a disaster”.Tweet