Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat was yesterday not only able to deliver the good news that he has been exonerated of all wrongdoing surrounding his alleged involvement in the media statement criticising ICC governance by their former legal advisor David Becker, but also news of on-going negotiations with Australia and England for more Test cricket against those countries.
The International Cricket Council yesterday announced that they could find no evidence linking Lorgat to Becker’s damning statement and also cleared him of allegedly trying to bribe or threaten journalists in an attempt to withdraw the story.
“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 said at the Wanderers yesterday.
“But I am gravely disappointed that I was found guilty in the media and a lot of things were said about me even before the investigation began.”
Not much seems capable of taking the former ICC chief executive by surprise and Lorgat also brushed off the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to not stage any of the IPL in South Africa while revealing the prospect of increased Tests against Australia and England.
“We weren’t surprised at all by the BCCI announcement, they want to play the tournament close to home. We were involved in discussions all along and we were informed of the decision before it went public. It made sense to have the first 16 games in the UAE, if they needed longer outside India then maybe we would have featured,” Lorgat said.
“But we never had any plans for the IPL in the financial forecasts. It would have been a windfall, but it’s something we hadn’t bargained for.”
With Lorgat and CSA having a well-publicised falling out with the BCCI last year and India, Australia and England staging a virtual coup to take control of the ICC, the fears that South African cricket would be sidelined don’t seem to be materialising.
Lorgat revealed the success of preliminary negotiations with other boards that would see more Test cricket being played in South Africa.
“We are very keen to play four-Test series against Australia and we’ve gone some way to agreeing to that, although it’s dependent on the calendar. And we are talking to England and have agreed in principle to play a five-Test series in 2015/16. So we’ve already achieved a lot working together since the original ICC proposal, which has already been changed considerably,” Lorgat said.