Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Norman Arendse stood down on Wednesday, a year into a three-year spell at the head of the governing body.
Arendse's resignation, which he announced at a news conference, comes with CSA set to merge their professional and amateur arms into one body on September 26.
They will hold fresh elections to choose officials and Arendse was being challenged for the presidency by Mtutuzeli Nyoka, head of cricket for the Gauteng province.
Announcing his retirement, Arendse blamed a lack of support from CSA chief executive Gerald Majola and the 11 provincial affiliates and anti-transformation forces for his demise.
"Although I was returned unopposed as president of CSA in August 2007 for a three-year term, I never at any stage enjoyed the full trust and confidence of the CEO, and all 11 affiliates," he said.
"The CEO is of the view that the president is merely a ceremonial head there to preside over meetings, and to attend matches and functions.
"By contrast, I hold the view that the CEO is employed by the Board, and is accountable to it," Arendse added.
"As a consequence of these sharply contrasting positions, the relationship between the CEO and I has broken down irretrievably."
Majola denied there was any personal enmity between himself and Arendse, in a statement released by CSA later on Wednesday.
"The differences between us were of management style, and hardly irretrievable in my view.
"We will thus continue our vision of making South African cricket a truly national sport of winners. We face the future with vigour and confidence," Majola said.
Arendse added that he believed the affiliates who did not support him are against the transformation of the game to reflect the demographics of the country.
"Historically, the 6:5 split in South African cricket has bedevilled the administration of the game... and has reared its ugly head again. Currently six of the 11 affiliates appear not to support me as president.
"The manipulation of this situation ... is most unhealthy, and detrimental to the game.
"Since unity in 1992, those affiliates who continue steadfastly to support me... have traditionally been the affiliates that are supportive of transformation in cricket as they come from the non-racial fold.
"The other affiliates have battled to come to terms with transformation and, in some instances, transformation is completely lacking and remains a foreign concept.
"The charges against me appear to be my transformation agenda, and my demand of the CEO that he be accountable to me in my representative capacity as the president of the Board.
"I plead guilty to both charges, and have nothing to say in mitigation of sentence," Arendse, who is a lawyer, said.
Arendse said he will also step down from all his positions with the International Cricket Council, which is the sport's world governing body.
Arendse has been involved in three selection disputes with the South African national team that have brought him into conflict with Majola.