CSA fuel uncertainty over Lorgat departure
Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Chris Nenzani told a press conference in Bloemfontein on Friday that he hoped to answer some of the questions that swirl around the abrupt end of Haroon Lorgat’s tenure as chief executive.
Then Nenzani did his best not to answer them.
News that CSA and Lorgat had parted ways broke last Monday and the story quickly spun out of the board’s control.
More than a week later CSA have yet to explain fully why they took that decision — not least because the board and Lorgat are in the throes of thrashing out a settlement on a contract that was due to run until 2019.
Consequently CSA are struggling to plug frequent leaks on the saga‚ and Nenzani took his opportunity to make plain his objections to the reporting of the story even as he declined to confirm or deny the board’s current hopelessly vague and insubstantial version.
“It is not possible for us to go into the nitty-gritty details of that relationship (with Lorgat) in terms of what happened‚” he said.
“However‚ we’re coming here because a number of untruths have been published. We did not give specific reasons‚ except to say in our statement (last Monday) that the relationship has irretrievably broken down.
“But a lot of reasons have been put on the table by various individuals that have been quoted in the media — so-called reliable sources from CSA.
“And that creates a lot of doubt in the minds of the public. It creates a lot of uncertainty.
“We’re here today and we’re hoping that we’ll be able to answer some of your questions in a manner that is within the legal prescripts of the Acts that govern employment relationships.”
But Nenzani only fuelled that uncertainty with claims like: “The media talks about Lorgat being sacked because he could not clinch a [T20 Global League] broadcast deal. That’s not true.
“The truth is the relationship has broken down because of a number of issues. This thing did not start yesterday‚ did not start last week. It started very early in the beginning of the year‚ and it came to a climax on May 13 at a board meeting.”
What was “this thing”? Something specific?
“Not necessarily‚” Nenzani said. “But it’s a matter of‚ ‘Can we work together? Do you trust me? Do I trust you for us to move forward?’
“And then you get to a stage where you say no. We may try as much as we can but we have reached a stage where we say‚ ‘Us moving forward is not good for you‚ it’s not good for me‚ it’s not good for the organisation’.”
In the absence of a satisfactory explanation‚ what did Nenzani want us to know about what went wrong between Lorgat and his former employers?
“Unfortunately we were not able to contain the issues and to manage them properly to a point where we can say that the relationship (with Lorgat) has been restored‚” Nenzani said.
“I asked the board to give me space and time to try and build and rebuild this relationship‚ because I believe — and I’m still convinced — that relationship was good for cricket.
“But unfortunately we had to take a decision in the interests of cricket as well‚ to say in the circumstances it is best that we separate on a very amicable basis.”
Before addressing the press Nenzani had briefed the South Africa squad‚ who were preparing to play Bangladesh in the second test‚ on the issue.
What did he tell them?
“The same thing that I’m telling you.”
Were they happy with that?
“The indication is that they understand and they appreciate the fact that we have spoken to them‚” Nenzani said.
“Surely‚ some of them might not be happy‚ because you build relationships — they might have been very close to the CEO.
“Whether they are happy or not is a different debate.”
Wait … Yes? No.