With the papers so far circulated for the Spring General Meeting of the KNCB on 14 April comes confirmation that Betty Timmer is standing down as chair, with VOC’s Jurgen Delfos as the official candidate to succeed her.
Ms. Timmer has led the Dutch governing body since December 2015, when she defeated the previous Board’s nomination in the first contested election for the chairmanship in KNCB history.
An economics graduate from the Erasmus University, Mr Delfos is CEO of Rotterdam-based IT company CEA Systems, as well as owning his own consultancy company, Delfaux Management. He is a long-serving member of VOC Rotterdam.
The Board is also set to expand with the nomination of a member with responsibility for Diversity.
The current Board’s candidate is Madosor Allah Rakha, who is director of operations at the environmental NGO Natuur en Milieu (Nature and Environment). He is a former member of Amsterdam Hoofdklasse club Groen en Wit, and now captains the third team at ACC. He has also served on the KNCB’s Financial Committee.
Not yet included among the published papers are the report and recommendations of the ad hoc Governance Committee chaired by former KNCB chair and ICC Board member René van Ierschot, and the Board’s response.
Central to the committee’s remit, as reported to the December general meeting, was the relationship between the KNCB and the limited liability company Cricket Nederland BV, the Bond’s wholly-owned subsidiary.
The double role of Ms Timmer as KNCB chair, an honorary position, and paid Events Manager of the BV has been a matter of concern for many within the parent organisation, and Ms Timmer indicated in December that this would soon be resolved.
It is now evident that the solution is for her to step down as chair, apparently clearing the way for her to continue her position as an employee of the BV.
The operation of the BV in its first full year was, of course, severely disrupted by the cancellation of the international programme because of Covid-19, and the home programme for 2021 has now been reduced to a single three-match series against Ireland.
This is reflected in the financial papers for the 14 April meeting and the BV’s first report, which signal an operating loss of €40,681 for 2020, despite the transfer of €134,000 into its coffers from the KNCB in a year in which no events took place; the absolute separation of the BV’s accounts from those of the Bond means that the members must take on trust the assurance of their representatives on the Raad van Commissarissen (Supervisory Board) that all is well in that regard.
A further allocation of €174,000 from the KNCB to the BV was agreed by the general meeting in December, along with a guarantee of €200,000 also from KNCB funds, designed to help with the projected loss of television rights sales for the Super League.
Overall, the finances of the KNCB itself have been helped – at least in the short term – by the enforced reduction in its activities: the budgeted operating surplus of €257 has turned into a substantial surplus of €504,800, overwhelmingly due to savings on the men’s international programme but helped also by a windfall from the cancelled EuroSlam T20 tournament.
Prudently, the Board is recommending that €458,000. of this surplus be paid into a Designated Reserve, principally intended to cover the costs of tournaments and events originally planned for 2020 but now taking place in 2021 (or later), such as the men’s ICC World T20 Cup in India and Super League visits to South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Elsewhere on the agenda, the dispute over the Board’s demand that all competitive cricket now be played in coloured clothing with a white ball, which exercised several clubs with teams in the recreational Zami (Saturday afternoon) and Zomi (Sunday afternoon) divisions appears set for a reprise, and it may be that recent rumblings about the plans for men’s Topklasse and women’s Hoofdklasse competitions under special Covid-19 regulations will also get an airing.
There is also scheduled to be a further report on the long-running working party on the future of the competitions, although long-term solutions to the KNCB’s many problems have inevitably played second fiddle to the more immediate difficulties created by the pandemic.
Rod Lyall served as vice-chair of the KNCB from 2012 to 2015, and as a member of the Board with Betty Timmer as chair from 2015 to 2016.
This article was amended on 27 March 2021 to indicate that Mr Allah Rakha is now a member of ACC.
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