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Ken Borland

Exonerated Lorgat objects to media treatment

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Ken

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Thursday that he objected to sections of the media finding him guilty without trial after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that they had exonerated him of any wrongdoing surrounding the media statement criticising ICC governance made last October by their former legal advisor David Becker.

An independent adjudicator commissioned by the ICC cleared Lorgat of knowing about the Becker media statement and its contents prior to its initial distribution; of being

involved in the preparation of the statement; or of attempting to persuade a number of different journalists to delay or withdraw the Becker story by offering to do something for them in return, allegedly bribing and eventually threatening the journalists.

“Being exonerated is no surprise to me because I knew exactly what I had done and what I had not done, and I knew that I would not fail myself nor cricket in South Africa,” Lorgat told a news conference at the Wanderers on Thursday.

“But I am gravely disappointed that I was found guilty in the media and I seriously expect an apology and then we can move on. A lot of things were said about me even before the investigation began.

“It’s an opportunity for the media to reflect on how fairly and accurately they have done their job. I call on the media to report fairly on Cricket South Africa, some people just use a sledgehammer and it brings their own organisations into disrepute. The media ought to be accountable for what they write, just like I am accountable for what I do,” Lorgat continued.

While Lorgat did not want to ascribe the investigation to the machinations surrounding the so-called takeover of the ICC by the ‘Big Three’, he confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had been one of the parties that offered to drop the charges during the debate over the changes in the structure of world cricket’s governing body.

“The CSA president, Chris Nenzani, was involved in those talks and he has confirmed that offers to drop the investigation were made at the time of the ICC revamp discussions. We made it very clear though that there would be no deals, but it showed that the BCCI and many other board members had already moved on because they knew what the outcome of the investigation would be. Thankfully we continued with it, however, because now my name has been cleared,” Lorgat said.

Lorgat is now free to involve himself fully in all ICC business and dealings with the BCCI, but he said his suspension from these activities had not particularly affected CSA.

“I don’t believe that it affected South African cricket to a great extent. I was involved in many discussions on the sidelines and I missed just one chief executives’ meeting, but I was in Dubai at the time and was discussing all the issues outside the meeting,” Lorgat said.

Nenzani said in the CSA statement released earlier on Thursday that the board had maintained the utmost confidence in Lorgat throughout the investigation.

“As we expected, all the allegations have been dismissed and the board would like to reiterate its full trust and confidence in Mr. Lorgat as its chief executive. To date the board has been satisfied and indeed impressed with the progress made under his leadership.

“It is also clear that allegations and insinuations made against Mr. Lorgat by certain journalists were unprofessional and do not fall within the bounds of fair or justifiable comment. I hope these individuals or their organisations will now have the courage to issue an apology to both Mr. Lorgat and CSA,” Nenzani said.

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