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Ken Borland



Lorgat’s resignation understandable, but his denial is baffling 0

Posted on February 01, 2017 by Ken

 

Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat’s sense of resignation when it comes to the exodus of Kolpak players is understandable given the socio-economic factors that are ranged against him, but his continued denial that anything untoward happened before the 2015 World Cup semi-final is baffling and most troubling.

His own involvement in the selection fiasco that saw the in-form Kyle Abbott yanked from the team and replaced by a half-fit Vernon Philander has still not been totally clarified, but I would be extremely surprised if he was not acting on an ill-timed instruction from board level.

But just mention the 2015 World Cup semi-final and selection interference and Lorgat has his hackles up in an instant.

It happened again in Cape Town after the Proteas had won their Test against Sri Lanka to clinch the series,  their achievement totally overshadowed by the shock news that Abbott and Rilee Rossouw were shifting their loyalty to lucrative deals in county cricket.

When Abbott faced up to the media he was asked whether that fateful event in Auckland had anything to do with his decision to give up his international career, and he answered sincerely, saying there had been a lot of frustration, hurt and anger at the time, but that the team – including himself – had dealt with and moved on from all their negative emotions from that incident at their culture camp last August.

Lorgat was next up to be interviewed and, as soon as someone mentioned the words “World Cup semi-final”, they were scolded and the CEO launched into a tirade against the media for making things up. When one of the journalists, of colour, who happened to be at the World Cup and had done plenty to expose the selection shenanigans, pointed out to Lorgat that Abbott had sat in the same chair five minutes earlier and openly spoken about the issue, the CEO had to retreat and offered words along the lines of “I don’t want to talk about that now”.

But like reticent parents avoiding the sex-education talk, Lorgat is going to have to speak about it at some stage.

And the CSA National Team Review Panel report, that will be tabled before the members’ council on Saturday might just be the tool that gets Lorgat to open up, unless of course the relevant pages are lost somewhere in the toilets at head office at the Wanderers.

There has been talk of the report recommending that CSA and the board apologise to the players for what happened in Auckland. There is no confirmation of that, but I have it on record from someone who has read the findings that under the Team Culture section it indicates that it’s “strongly recommended that interaction happens either individually or in a group between players and senior members of the board and support staff”.

Speaking to members of the panel, none of them wanted to create anything controversial and all they hope is that something good comes out of their work.

The introduction of set targets has obviously helped because now the quotas are out in the open; but amongst the players there is still the lingering fear of an administrator again deciding to take the job of a selector upon himself and interfering in the make-up of the team.

The bungling of the transformation aspect of the 2015 World Cup needs to be put to bed – otherwise imagine how septic a boil it will be in the lead-up to 2019? – and an acknowledgement and apology from Lorgat for his role in the controversy would be a big step along that road.

CSA rise up against BCCI bullies with Lorgat appointment 0

Posted on July 18, 2016 by Ken

 

Cricket South Africa’s appointment of Haroon Lorgat as their new chief executive is a welcome uprising against the bully-boy tactics and undue influence of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The 53-year-old Lorgat, the former chief executive of the International Cricket Council, was announced as the new CEO of CSA on the weekend and is the first permanent appointment in the key role since the disgraced Gerald Majola was suspended (and later sacked) in March 2012 in the wake of the bonus scandal that followed South Africa’s hosting of the Indian Premier League in 2009.

But despite clearly being the best candidate for the job – Lorgat was a highly-respected former player, he was convenor of the national selection panel, he runs his own successful chartered accountancy business, he has cricket administration experience at the highest level – and although various members of the CSA board have been seeking his return for the last couple of years, Lorgat was only appointed on the weekend, three-and-a-half months later than the original April deadline for a new CEO.

That’s because the BCCI made it clear in February that they did not want Lorgat heading up South African cricket. He and the then-president of the BCCI, Narayanaswami Srinivasan, have history of the wrong sort.

The reasons for Srinivasan’s antagonism range from Lorgat’s backing of the Decision Review System, contrary to India’s wishes; his decision to move the 2011 World Cup match between India and England away from Eden Gardens in Kolkata because the stadium wasn’t ready; his refusal to entertain Srinivasan’s push for the ICC to move their headquarters from Dubai to Mumbai; and Lorgat’s backing of the findings of the Lord Woolf Commission, which warned about the unhealthy influence India had on the ICC.

The BCCI’s bully-boy tactics would impress the average corrupt South African cop and any country which has voted against their viewpoint at ICC meetings has suffered the fall-out – losing out on lucrative tours by the Indian team, being denied a place in the Champions League T20 or having their players banned from the IPL.

It was the unseemly wealth of the IPL that eventually caused the BCCI to be exposed as a den of iniquity from within: Srinivasan, who also happens to own the Chennai Super Kings, stood aside as president in June when he could no longer plead ignorance of the corruption and match-fixing within the IPL.

Because the BCCI generate by far the most revenue in global cricket, they have their hands in every pie and even something as noble as the ICC Cricket Committee has been commandeered to suit their vision of a DRS-less world.

The Daily Maverick reported as far back as February that although Lorgat was the favourite to be become permanent CEO, this was unlikely because the BCCI were opposed to his appointment.

But the sidelining of Srinivasan has enabled Cricket South Africa to grow some balls and appoint the best candidate for the position, even though president Chris Nenzani denied on Monday that events in India had had any influence on the process.

That after CSA missed promised deadlines for the appointment in both early April and June.

“When we went to India in February, we spoke to the president of the BCCI [Srinivasan] and he expressed certain concerns about Haroon’s possible appointment. We made clear to him that we would not ignore his concerns, but we would have to act in the best interests of cricket in South Africa.

“There’s no link between what has happened in India and Haroon’s appointment now. They are going through a period of challenges in India, but we can’t afford to get entangled in that and Haroon’s appointment was done in the best way for CSA,” Nenzani said.

Louis von Zeuner, one of the new independent directors on the CSA board and a former deputy CEO of Absa, made it clear that he would not allow outside influences to meddle with what’s best for South African cricket on his watch.

“We take decisions in the interests of South African cricket and we don’t allow influences that don’t follow sound governance,” Von Zeuner said. “There are several stakeholders in South African cricket and we listen to all opinions and then take the opinion that is right for the country.”

Lorgat ran the ICC between 2008 and 2012 with a steely focus on what was best for the game in general and, with the importance of the BCCI in mind, he said on Monday that he would sit down with his Indian detractors and try to find common ground.

“It’s probably right that I don’t speak too much about it, but I was particularly saddened by the inferences that came from India. I never expected to end with such a poor relationship with them. But I will do my level best to understand their concerns and do whatever it takes to mend things. If I need to apologise, I will do so with no hesitation.

“There’s no doubt India is a major player and we must respect India. We don’t want to be out-of-favour with them, but I did what I thought was best for cricket,” Lorgat said.

The incoming CEO, who will take office on August 1 and has signed a three-year contract, also said he was happy with the new composition of the CSA board, saying a change in structure as recommended by the Nicholson Commission was a prerequisite for him to accept the post.

“Many people cajoled me to get involved in South African cricket again but one aspect I wanted was for there to be a new board with a sufficient independent component. I offered my availability once that new board was in place in early February.

“The new board is operating well, from what I’ve seen. We had a 90-minute session on the weekend and I saw the manner in which they operate with contributions from both the independent and non-independent side. I’m a fan of independent involvement because they don’t serve vested interests and I saw that. I’m confident this board will function as a very good corporate board.

“They are very mindful of good corporate governance since being restructured in line with the recommendations of the Nicholson Commission. We must all be conscious of it, but I’m not too concerned with governance because the people on the board will ensure that. I come from that background, it’s second nature for me, I trained in it and it’s how we did things at the ICC,” the chartered accountant said.

http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2013-07-23-sa-cricket-all-hail-haroon-lorgat/#.V4zAFvl97IU

Lorgat optimistic that Windies tour will not be disrupted 0

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Ken

Cricket South Africa counted the cost last year of their summer of Test cricket being disrupted, but CEO Haroon Lorgat is optimistic that the current troubles between the West Indies and their administrators will not lead to another international tour to these shores being severely curtailed or cancelled.

The West Indies team are currently on strike and at loggerheads with both their own players’ association (Wipa) and the board (WICB), having pulled out of their tour to India after just four ODIs. If the impasse is not resolved before December, then they may have to send a second-string outfit to South Africa or the tour might be cancelled.

But Lorgat is confident that the issues will be resolved and the best West Indian team will tour, particularly if they accept the offer of assistance from the Federation of International Cricketers Association (Fica), headed by South African Tony Irish.

“I’ve spoken to the West Indies board in the last 24 hours and they are reasonably confident that they will be able to keep their promise and tour here. I’m optimistic that they’ll be able to work through their issues.

“In two weeks’ time the RamSlam T20 Challenge starts here and I was told that the NOCs [No-Objection Certificates] would be granted to the West Indian players involved. There are some big players coming here, including captain Dwayne Bravo, and I’ll be able to talk to them then.

“Plus Tony Irish has offered his assistance, so there are many angles we can work from. The West Indian players are always keen to come to South Africa, so although it’s early days and there’s still lots of emotion, I’m quite confident that we’ll get things worked out,” Lorgat told The Citizen yesterday.

An important ace in CSA’s hands is that the tour to South Africa is the West Indies’ last before the World Cup and Lorgat said there is an eagerness amongst the Caribbean players to perform in that showpiece event.

“The players don’t want to miss out on the World Cup so I’m sure sanity will prevail. It could have been worse: it’s an explosive situation that has been simmering for a while and it could have happened while they were in South Africa!” Lorgat pointed out.

The current strike is the fourth to have affected West Indies cricket over the last decade or so and is centred on Wipa president Wavell Hinds signing a new collective bargaining agreement that results in a significant paycut for the players, as high as 70% for some.

The WICB are now holding the players to that signed contract. Wipa happens to have acted similarly a few years ago when the then-WICB chief executive mistakenly signed a deal giving the players $35 000 more per match-day.

Irish, who rose to the post of executive chairperson of Fica in June, told The Citizen that he had to offer his assistance because “the implications of this issue go far beyond West Indies cricket”.

 

Domingo contract extended to avoid uncertainty at World Cup 0

Posted on September 19, 2014 by Ken

Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Saturday that national coach Russell Domingo’s contract has been extended for another year because they were considering the negative impact uncertainty could have on World Cup preparations.

Lorgat announced on Saturday that Domingo and national team manager Mohammed Moosajee both had their contracts extended to April 2016 by the CSA board, who had met on Friday night.

“We’re very satisfied with the performance of the head coach and manager, in particular during this time of transition with great players retiring over the last couple of years. It has been seamless and the board was very impressed by the way the team grew back to number one in Tests and has migrated up the rankings in ODIs as well,” Lorgat said.

“Our focus is now on the World Cup and the team has progressed very well. We knew their prowess in Test cricket, but Russell is building a very competitive team in ODIs as well. His contract was due to expire at the end of the World Cup in April 2015, but we wanted to take away that uncertainty.”

Lorgat said negotiations over the contracts of Domingo’s eight management members –Adrian Birrell (assistant), Allan Donald (bowling), Claude Henderson (spin bowling), Paddy Upton (performance), Greg King (conditioning), Riaan Muller (logistics), Brandon Jackson (physiotherapist) and Prasanna Agoram (video analysis) – would now commence.

Domingo’s good fortune in terms of his contract was slightly marred by a shock announcement at Saturday’s AGM, which was generally marked by an air of contentment, by Advocate Vusi Pikoli, the chairman of the ethics sub-committee and a former head of the National Prosecuting Authority, that his committee were deeply concerned by the allegations of ball-tampering surrounding the national team.

“The committee wishes to raise its deep concern on the recent reports and allegations of ball-tampering. The committee takes a very dim view of these reports and wishes to send out a strong message that such behaviour cannot be tolerated. Such conduct damages our fragile reputation.

“It’s not about what others do, it’s about our reputation and we urge our lads to take this matter very seriously,” Pikoli said in his report to the AGM.

 

– http://www.iol.co.za/sport/cricket/domestic/proteas-coach-contract-extended-1.1750447#.VBvlWfmSxe8

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  • Thought of the Day

    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm



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