Wed, 08 Jul 2020

Outgoing Central Gauteng Lions cricket president Jack Madiseng has firmly backed Graeme Smith's support for Sourav Ganguly as the next ICC head.Despite Cricket South Africa not endorsing Smith's views, Madiseng believes Ganguly's "obsession of commercialising the sport" would prove vital in this time of Covid-19.The cricket boss also raised questions over Cricket South Africa president Chris Nenzani's ability to serve at ICC board level.

Outgoing Central Gauteng Lions (CGL) cricket president Jack Madiseng backed Cricket South Africa (CSA) director of cricket Graeme Smith's endorsement of Sourav Ganguly for the International Cricket Council (ICC) chairperson position.

Madiseng was speaking at the CGL's digitally curated end-year awards ceremony and began his address with an unequivocal message of support for Smith's stance regarding Ganguly's fitness to succeed Shashank Manohar.

"I noted Graeme Smith's comments in support of Sourav Ganguly of India as the next ICC president. I would like to echo Graeme's words and offer my support for Ganguly," Madiseng said.

"He's a great ambassador of the game, who has demonstrated absolutely fantastic leadership capabilities - and not forgetting his obsession of commercialising the sport. [It's something] we desperately need due to this pandemic, which will impact the international distribution of funds to various countries affiliated to the ICC."

Last week, Smith said: "I feel Sourav is best positioned for that. I know him well, I played against him a number of times and worked with him. He's got the credibility and the leadership to take the game forward, especially at an ICC level."

The comments prompted a swift response from CSA president Chris Nenzani, who tried to pour cold water on the endorsement.

"There have been no candidates nominated as yet and once such nominations have been made, the CSA board will take its decision in terms of its own protocol and give the chairman the mandate to exercise his vote as an ICC board director accordingly," Nenzani said in a statement a day after Smith's comments.

Acting CEO Jacques Faul also backed Smith in rooting for the current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president, Ganguly, to become the new ICC chair. But the split views within South African cricket have highlighted some long-standing divisions among certain administrators.

Madiseng went a step further by casting doubt on Nenzani's ability to serve at ICC board level, although he did not name the CSA president directly.

Nenzani's third term in the position is set to expire in September, however, under Madiseng, CGL led attempts to have Nenzani removed from his position prior to the end of term.

"At the present moment, I do not think we have a leader in the country that is ready for the ICC presidential role," said Madiseng.

"I'm sure that we will have someone ready in the near future. If I look at the current leadership talent we have, in Northerns Cricket, Kwa-Zulu-Natal, Western Province presidents and our own president, Anne Vilas; they are all capable of leading in the CSA presidency role and eventually the ICC presidency."

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