OLD Grey's Graeme Sauls beat off a strong challenge for the presidency of Eastern Province Cricket from main rival Donovan May at the body's annual meeting at Axxess St George's on Saturday.
Sauls, a past vice-chairman of the former Nelson Mandela Bay Cricket Board, acquired 22 votes to May's 18 while the other candidates, Jerry Mbenge and Sinomia Lewis, received three and two respectively.
A total of 45 clubs out of a possible 60 attended the meeting.
PECC's Terry Reid was comfortably voted in as vice-president – Sauls's right-hand man.
Sauls, 40, wasted no time in making his intentions clear, saying his board needed "to put cricket back into cricket".
"The most important thing is that all the board members understand their terms of reference.
"Last year, with the problems they had with not having a president and a vice- president and reshuffling for positions, nobody actually did what they were elected for and it shows in the performance to date," Sauls said.
"It shows in the fact that we don't have junior cricket and that schools cricket is a problem. There are problems in women's cricket.
"It shows in the way structures are implemented in terms of club cricket. We've gone backwards. People are now going to working outside the framework."
Sauls said the board would convene with a workshop to discuss pressing cricket issues.
"We've got a workshop in two weeks' time where we will be going through the terms of reference.
"The big thing – and one of the things I will be focusing on this year – is to hold each and every director accountable," he said.
"There has been no report-back from any director in the past year to clubs in terms of their portfolio. This is where that stops. The clubs are going to understand what those guys' roles are."
Sauls said northern areas and township clubs were dependent on youth cricket systems which have been failing them.
"They don't have the established systems that you find in, for example, the Grey schools. So they rely heavily on junior and schools cricket.
"We need juniors to come through the club system as well as schools, and that is not happening.
"We can't look at putting teams in the Super League if there is no system of supporting themselves.
"Clubs are being put in the Super League with no means of survival."
Meanwhile, the meeting reported a R3262615 loss for 2011-12 compared with R263070 for 2010-11.
The significant loss this year was due mainly to there being fewer events held.
In recent years, EP Cricket has enjoyed the good fortune of hosting events like Indian Premier and Champions leagues and the Fifa Fan Park – which itself brought in R2.2-million for 2010-11.