Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Administrative dust-ups

You may remember that I mocked the United Cricket Board of South Africa’s decision to drop their best player in the up-coming Twenty20 waste-of-time, sorry, I mean “tournament”.

Well, the plot thickens, because Jacques Kallis wasn’t informed of his ditching. In fact, it seemed he wanted to play and cites his all-round credentials as a potential boon to the squad. He says that things got a bit “emotional”.

For “emotional” read “nasty”. Kallis has resigned the vice-captaincy, in, more or less, protest of his being dropped.

Cricket South Africa’s CEO Gerald Majola has condemned Kallis’ “unilateral” decision (unilateral, you mean, he made his decision by himself…? What? What are you talking about?). Anyway, he goes on,

“The reasons for his omission from the squad were fully explained to him as well as the prominent role he will play in a very full and varied season after the tournament.”
Majola then goes on to criticise Kallis’ lack of professionalism in not consulting CSA before his announcement. Of course, you can’t slate their decision not to inform Kallis before they publicly dropped him. That’s perfectionly professional.

CSA’s selection convenor, Joubert Strydom said:
"Jacques is the cornerstone of our Test and one-day teams. We felt that because of what he brings to the Test and one-day teams, it wasn't worthwhile sacrificing him in the Twenty20."

The back-tracking exercise that the CSA has been running is that they’re worried about Kallis getting tired. Wouldn’t you have thought that Kallis is the best judge of his stamina over the next 18 months?

I don’t normally talk about sports administration, but this episode rather reminds me of the hilarious Chris Gayle fiasco. Also, Omar’s blitz of activity in his long-awaited come-back, asks a question:

“Shouldn't cricketing boards be run by ex-cricketers for the cricketers? Don't they have a right to vote and select the new board? Things need to change!”
He then goes on to rant about something. I don’t know what. I lost interest after a while.

But, I think that ex-cricketers should be kept away from cricket administration. Mainly, because they’re useless. The skills of running a large and complicated organisation are distinct from messing about on a field with a bat and a ball.

The ridiculous Kallis spat shows the importance of communication. The habit of communication and people-management is second-nature in the business world. The emotional out-bursts, mouthing off in press releases and childish tit-for-tat exchanges underlie amateurism.

Bring in the City boys, I say.

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