CSA distances itself from Graeme Smith’s backing of Ganguly for ICC chairman

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CENTURION, SOUTH AFRICA - DECEMBER 27: Director of South Africa Cricket Graeme Smith looks on during Day Two of the First Test match between England and South Africa at SuperSport Park on December 27, 2019 in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Director of South Africa Cricket Graeme Smith looks on during Day Two of the First Test match between England and South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion, South Africa. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

South Africa’s cricket governing body clarified its position ahead of the upcoming election of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Independent Chairman at the ICC Annual Conference later this year following comments by its director of cricket Graeme Smith.

Earlier on Thursday, Smith endorsed the head of India’s cricket governing body (BCCI) Sourav Ganguly for the position saying that it was time for someone who was closer to the modern game with the leadership credentials to get into a key position.

“Post COVID-19, to have strong leadership is going to be important. I feel that Sourav Ganguly is best positioned for that at the moment. He has got the credibility, he has got the leadership skills and he is someone who can really take the game forward,” Smith said.

Smith’s sentiments were supported by CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul who said the CSA had no problem supporting an Indian candidate but added that it would be necessary to look at the integrity of the whole process.

CSA President Chris Nenzani said that while it held Smith’s opinions in the highest regards, it did not want to anticipate any candidates who may be nominated for the position.

“We must respect both the ICC protocol and our own protocol in deciding which candidate to back. There have been no candidates nominated as yet and once such nominations have been made the Board of CSA 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.

The current ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar is to step down when his term ends in May. He was first elected as an independent chairman in May 2016 and was re-elected unopposed for a second two-year term two years later.

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