CAPE TOWN – Former Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat says the fact that the organisation “is moving in a new direction and needs a new vision and leadership team to carry it through” is part of the reason the two parties “amicably agreed to part ways”.
Lorgat released a statement on Friday morning following his dramatic departure from Cricket SA on Thursday following the ongoing behind-the-scenes saga about the T20 Global League broadcast deal.
The 57-year-old, who is a chartered accountant by profession, had always maintained that he was delaying sealing any deal as he wanted to get all the pieces of the puzzle in place with regards to the T20 Global League, such as securing big-name players and celebrity team owners such as Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, as that would give him and CSA greater bargaining power.
But it is known that the CSA board had become concerned that no TV deal was in place with just over a month to go to the November 3 start of the tournament at Newlands, between Khan’s Cape Town Knight Riders and the Pretoria Mavericks.
Here is Lorgat’s full statement:
“Dear CSA Staff, Cricket Family and Stakeholders; Friends and the Media,
By now you would have learnt the news that I have agreed with the CSA Board to step down as the Chief Executive of Cricket South Africa.
“It’s been a tough few days as I faced the prospect of moving on from my role at CSA at a time when Cricket in this country is strong and entering an exciting new era with the forthcoming T20 Global League.
“In late 2015, the very T20 Global League was a mere pipe dream. In January 2016, the Board supported my request to explore the prospects for a South African League and provided the mandate to develop the business case.
“Having worked hard since then and to the very best of my abilities, we are all very pleased with the impressive set of team owners and players already in place. I believe we will succeed to be among the best leagues in the world.
“Sadly though, it is time for me to move on and for someone else to lead the rest of this incredible journey as we are only weeks away from the start of the competition.
“The above is just one of many success stories I feel privileged to have been a part of since my appointment as the CSA Chief Executive in July 2013.
“Even though challenging, I have really enjoyed my time at the helm of what is now a vibrant and sustainable organisation that boasts enviable talent across all administrative and operational spheres.
“When I look back and reflect on what I stepped into in 2013, I can certainly feel proud of the gigantic steps we have taken to make Cricket SA recognised by others as the best-run sports federation on the continent.
“Sure, we encountered many challenges along the way, not least at the very outset of my appointment. I thank the Board for supporting me during that time and we have all since been vindicated by the principled position adopted then.
“The transparency and the universal values under which we operated with all our stakeholders, commercial partners, players and the media has enabled CSA to be a trusted partner.
“This has led to many impressive success stories, like a sustainable business; a highly efficient administration and cricket operations; global admiration for best practice; a new building and a new league around the corner. We can all be proud of where we are today as Cricket South Africa.
“The business is moving in a new direction and needs a new vision and leadership team to carry it through.
“For this reason, I feel I cannot stay on and we have amicably agreed to part ways. This is the best way forward for the organisation we all care so much about.
“I am pleased to leave Cricket South Africa in a solid state and a lot better than when I entered it. I know that I have served the sport with great respect, commitment, dedication and passion and the results on and off the field bear testimony to that.
“I wish the Board and my successor all the best and sincere thanks to my staff and executive team for their unwavering support during the good and tough times.
“I also wish to thank all those who have humbled me with generous and kind messages over the past 24 hours. I now look forward to a restful period at home with my family who I have neglected over the last few years.