Majola hearing delayed again
9 October 2012
the independent & agencies
JOHANNESBURG, 9 OCT: The long-awaited disciplinary hearing of Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majol has been delayed yet again, this time at the request of the board, owing to the unavailability of one of its key witnesses. CSA asked for a postponement till tomorrow.
The hearing was over one of the recommendations made by the Nicholson inquiry instituted by sport minister Fikile Mbalula, after nearly two years of internal wrangling at CSA over Indian Premier League II bonuses that Majola had paid himself and other CSA staff members illegally.
IPL II was held in South Africa owing to concerns around security at the time in India where elections were taking place. The inquiry recommended investigation of possible criminal charges against Majola.
The hearing, which was to have been finalised by the end of May this year, was delayed several times after Majola had successfully argued for the removal of its initially appointed chairperson, citing unfairness following a preliminary ruling he made in favour of CSA. After Advocate Karel Tip had been appointed the new chairman, the hearing was again put back from its scheduled 3 October start at the request of Majola's legal team. Tip dismissed on Friday a special plea by Majola's team, which it believed would have settled the matter and allowed Majola to return to his position.CSA's lawyer Nicholas Preston said that three key witnesses would testify at the hearing and more witnesses were currently being finalised.
South Africa's cricket authorities have reacted furiously to suggestions by David Collier, chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, that the text-message exchange which led to Kevin Pietersen being dropped was begun by their players as a deliberate attempt to provoke the England batsman.
Pietersen's "process of reintegration" back into the England set up has begun but the fall-out from the protracted affair shows no signs of burning out. The ECB may now need to initiate a process of bridge building as Collier's opposite number at Cricket South Africa described his version of events as "absolute rubbish." A CSA statement released in response to what Collier said on Sunday opened by "dismissing with contempt allegations by the ECB."
The messages have not been seen by anyone at the ECB but Collier said on Sunday that Pietersen had been responding to texts sent by South African players. He said: "That's our understanding. It is a very thin line between fair and unfair. I certainly think (South Africa) provoked the situation. I think there was a tactic which was used."
Jacques Faul, CSA's acting chief executive, spoke to Collier about his claims yesterday morning. After their conversation Faul released a statement addressing Collier's assertion that the exchange was instigated by South Africa's players. "This is absolute rubbish," said Faul. "What is particularly disappointing is that I had a face-to-face meeting with Mr Collier when I was in London for the Lord's Test match. He did not raise this allegation with me then and I would have thought as a matter of courtesy and decency he would have spoken to me about it before going public in the media.
"It is not the way the CSA goes about its business and it is not the way the ECB have done business with us in the past either. It is very disappointing because in the past our relationships with the ECB have always been cordial and constructive. This is an internal ECB matter in which we do not wish to be in."
Pietersen has himself accepted that the messages - since deleted - he sent were "provocative." He was dropped by England for the final Test against South Africa last summer after reports he had sent derogatory texts about Andrew Strauss.
Pietersen has assured the ECB they were neither derogatory nor revealing of any team practices.
His explanation - termed a "binding assurance" - was accepted as part of the peace deal struck in Sri Lanka last week.
Pietersen apologised for "the situation that has arisen over the last couple of months."
The batsman, having agreed a new central contract, is undergoing his reintegration overseen by the England coach, Andy Flower, with the possibility of a return to the England squad as early as the tour to India, which begins at the end of this month.
Faul, who replaced Gerald Majola, suspended over financial irregularities in March, later added to his statement, suggesting the matter need not affect long-term relations with the ECB. "World cricket is a small place so we all have to get on and work with each other so I am sure we will work it out. We have left the door open for further discussions."
Pietersen is scheduled to play for Delhi Daredevils in their opening Champions League T20 game in South Africa on Saturday. The tournament runs to 28 October - Pietersen is not expected to feature should Delhi reach the knockout stages, instead taking part in England's training camp in Dubai, which begins on 25 October. In between Delhi's games he will spend time back in Britain meeting other England players as part of his reintegration.
Auckland, Yorkshire win
Auckland dished out a disciplined all-round performance to notch up a comfortable six-wicket victory over Sialkot Stallions in the qualifying match of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament here today. Lead by Kyle Mills (2/6), Ronnie Hira (2/36) and Andre Adams (2/21), Auckland first restricted Sialkot Stallions to a modest 130 for nine. The Auckland team then returned to overhaul the target with 2.5 overs to spare.
Also, Yorkshire began their campaign with a five-wicket win over Sri Lankan side Uva Next. David Miller hit 39 not out, Adil Rashid fired an unbeaten 36 and Phil Jaques made a rapid 32 off 21 balls to give Yorkshire victory in Johannesburg. Uva Next had earlier reached 150-7 as Moin Ashraf (2-29) and Steven Patterson (2-30) claimed two wickets apiece. But Yorkshire successfully chased down their victory target as they made 151-5 with three balls to spare.
The Champions League Twenty20 technical committee has approved changes made by the Chennai Super Kings for the injured Dwayne Bravo and Anirudh Srikkanth. Both are out of the tournament owing to injuries and will be replaced by Nuwan Kulasakera and Shadab Jakati. The committee has also approved changes by Sri Lanka's UVA Next and England's Yorkshire squads. For UVA Next, Upul Tharanga will not make the trip to South Africa because of a broken finger. He is to be replaced by former Sri Lankan U-19 captain Ashan Priyanjana. Johnny Bairstow will not be in the Yorkshire side owing to a wrist injury. Ed Wilson, an 18-year old wicketkeeper-batsman, has been called up as his replacement.