The Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) has launched an urgent application against Cricket South Africa (CSA) which seeks to overturn CSA’s decision of taking the body under administration. Last month, CSA used its “step-in” rights as the governing body of cricket in South Africa to suspend the WPCA board, citing administrative and financial concerns which even led to doubts over whether the New Year’s Test could take place at Newlands next year, but the WPCA is challenging this decision.
The WPCA is arguing that CSA has “no right or entitlement to exercise step-in rights over a self-standing voluntary association.” They also claim CSA did not give the WPCA a hearing before making their decision to suspend the board, that the decision was based on incorrect information and that CSA has not complied with its own memorandum of incorporation. In other words, WPCA is seeking to have its board reinstated and for CSA’s administrator – former WPCA CEO Andre Odendaal – to be stood down.
WPCA’s action comes little more than a week after it was established that they will retain hosting rights for the New Year’s Test and the ongoing construction project at the ground, for which CSA provided a R81 million (US$5.3 million) loan, would not get in the way of the fixture. While CSA was understood to be concerned with how that money has been managed, WPCA insist that they have complied with all requirements and are fighting for their independence.
A source close to WPCA told ESPNcricinfo that they do not believe the court action will have any impact on the New Year’s Test. Further, despite taking CSA to court, WPCA “remains committed to pursuing a mediation process,” should one become available. The application is expected to be heard in the Johannesburg High Court in the next few days.
This is not the only legal action CSA is facing at the moment. They have also been taken to court by the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) over the decision to restructure the domestic system. The matter is ongoing.