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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008, 11:40 GMT
SA coach to retain selector role
South Africa coach Mickey Arthur
Arthur has been in charge of the Proteas since May 2005
Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola has blocked a move to sack coach Mickey Arthur from the national team selection panel.

Arthur has been publicly at loggerheads with CSA president Norman Arendse.

And the board's general council voted to remove him from the selection panel during a teleconference on Saturday.

But Majola said the decision was "unconstitutional" and Arthur would be part of the panel to finalise the squad for a forthcoming tour to Bangladesh.

The dispute between Arendse and Arthur reportedly focused on the number of non-white players chosen for the tour.

Arendse accused the coach of being abusive and disrespectful, prompting Arthur to respond by describing the president as "power-crazy and egotistical".

South African cricket has a transformation policy, which sets a target of at least seven non-white players to be included in squads of 15 or more.

And it is believed that the provisional squad selected to travel to Bangladesh, which was originally due to be announced last week, only included four.

606: DEBATE
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The general council issued a statement on Saturday confirming Arthur's exclusion from the selection panel and reaffirming the transformation policy.

"The selectors nominated by the general council, and appointed by the board of CSA, are responsible for the selection of the touring squad and the team taking the field, if necessary, in consultation with the coach and captain.

"The selectors are Joubert Strydom, Mustapha Khan and Shafiek Abrahams," the statement said.

It also confirmed that Arendse's formal complaint against Arthur would be processed "as a matter of urgency" before the squad leaves for Bangladesh next week.

But Majola said on Sunday that Arthur's contract stipulated that serving as a selector was one of his responsibilities and only the CSA board of directors had the power to change it.

Norman Arendse
If the contract says he's a selector, then he's a selector

Norman Arendse

"I have been in contact with the convenor of selectors, Joubert Strydom, and have informed him that the same selection panel will finalise the team to tour Bangladesh," he added.

Arendse responded by accepting Arthur's continuing presence on the panel.

"If the contract says he's a selector, then he's a selector. It goes without saying that we would have respected the terms of the contract had we realised that was the case," he commented.

Arendse is believed to have favoured less experienced players being given a chance in Bangladesh, while Arthur favoured the selection of a full-strength squad to allow them to get used to sub-continent conditions before a tougher tour to India which follows.

Arthur has been South Africa's coach since 2005 and was awarded a next two-year contract last May.

A forthright character, he cited "a maturity among some senior players, and a lack of consistent mental toughness" as contributory factors to the team's elimination from the 2007 World Cup at the semi-final stage.

Since then, however, results have improved and last autumn South Africa won a Test and one-day series in Pakistan before returning home to complete a similar double against West Indies.

The squad for Bangladesh is now due to be announced on Monday, with their first game beginning on 19 February.



SEE ALSO
South Africa in Bangladesh 2008
02 Jan 08 |  Cricket
SA keep faith with Smith & Arthur
10 May 07 |  South Africa
S Africa appoint Arthur as coach
19 May 05 |  South Africa


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