CRICKET SA's (CSA's) new acting CE, Jacques Faul, had to be persuaded to take the job, which he fears could become a "minefield".
But it seems Mr Faul will not have to worry about trying to recover the R4,7m in undeclared bonuses paid to current and former staff that has caused upheaval in South African cricket. CSA's new acting president, Willie Basson, suggested yesterday the board would not try to get the money back.
Mr Faul stepped into the breach on Saturday after CSA suspended CE Gerald Majola pending disciplinary action for his role in the bonus scandal.
The decision was in line with the recommendations of a report compiled by retired judge Christopher Nicholson, who was appointed by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to investigate the bonus brouhaha.
"I didn't want to accept the position, but my president (North West Cricket Association president Archie Pretorius) spoke to me and said it might help cricket make progress on this issue if I did," Mr Faul, who has been seconded from his role as North-West's CE, said yesterday. Asked what he expected from his time in the hot seat, he said: "It might be a minefield."
Mr Faul said that he was scheduled to meet major cricket stakeholders and CSA's management committee today.
Dr Basson, an experienced, multiskilled administrator who has previously served as president of the Northerns Cricket Union and is chairman of CSA's transformation committee, replaced AK Khan, who resigned on Wednesday.
CSA has acted cannily by appointing Dr Basson. He is not among the provincial presidents who - as they also serve as most of CSA's board members - stand accused of covering up evidence of wrongdoing by Mr Majola in his negotiations for the bonuses.
Although his period of leadership will end with elections scheduled for September, Dr Basson said he was confident that he could help CSA to start to repair the damage - and said he saw business figures as central to that effort.
"I've got a lot of experience in sports administration and I see this as not a big problem," he said.
"Cricket used to have the reputation as the best-run sport in the country because business people were involved. It was a very disciplined system.
"I don't see difficulties in fixing the system because that culture is still there."
CSA's board should meet near the end of the month, when a decision to recover the clandestine cash could be discussed.
"It could be one of the considerations, but you want to move forward as soon as possible and you need to put this to bed without further complications," Dr Basson said.
CSA executive consultant Michael Owen-Smith said: " That (demanding the repayment of the bonuses) is a matter for the board to decide, possibly at their next meeting. Judge Nicholson made it clear that some of the bonuses were probably justified and others were of a minimal nature."
CSA was rocked further on Saturday by the resignation of Kass Naidoo, who reportedly received some of the bonus cash as corporate relations manager.
"Fans may love the Proteas but public sentiment has turned, and the administration needs to do everything possible to win back its own support," Ms Naidoo said in a statement posted on her Facebook page.
"As ... Khan said, it's time for new blood ... I am no longer the right person to lead CSA corporate relations.
"I have stayed until now firstly to allow the processes to fully investigate me, as I have been implicated, and secondly to passionately promote the good work of CSA through a daunting period for it, and not to leave it in the lurch," she said.
"Now that the (Nicholson inquiry) has completed its work, I believe it is the right time to go."