Still don't understand why BCCI was upset with me: Lorgat
Former ICC president and current Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO, Haroon Lorgat says he is still not aware why the BCCI is upset with him but hopes his strained relation with the Indian board would heal with time
New Delhi: Former ICC president and current Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO, Haroon Lorgat says he is still not aware why the BCCI is upset with him but hopes his strained relation with the Indian board would heal with time.
Lorgat and the BCCI had difference of opinion on a few key issues during his tenure as the ICC chief from 2008 to 2012. Some issues which they disagreed included the Decision Review System (DRS) and the Lord Woolf Commission, which was initiated by Lorgat. Things got more bitter when the BCCI expressed its opposition to the appointment of Lorgat as CSA's CEO after left the post of president in International Cricket Council.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat
With CSA eventually appointing Lorgat as its CEO in July 2013, there were speculations that India's proposed tour to South Africa in December that year might be called off.
BCCI later agreed to a shortened tour only after the CSA agreed to bar Lorgat from dealing with matters related to India and from attending ICC Executive Meetings as CSA representative.
Lorgat was also in the middle of an ICC inquiry, which eventually cleared him last year of alleged involvement in the FTP manipulation charges levelled against the BCCI by David Becker, who was the ICC legal adviser throughout Lorgat's tenure as CEO of the world body. However, Lorgat said he is still in dark about BCCI's reservations against him.
"I clearly don't understand what the issues are. I think that is more relevant to be ascertained from the BCCI. Nobody could tell (what the issue are). Not even my president is aware of what the issue is, what the wrongdoing is. So we are all in the dark as far as that is concerned," he told ESPNcricinfo.
"The tour went on, and there have been attempts to get together. But I can't tell you what the issue is that upsets them about myself," Lorgat added. Lorgat had made a press statement that he will work on bettering the relations with the BCCI.
Asked how he intended to go about it, he said: "Well, we must wait. Time can heal things. I have even offered to apologise if I am told what I'd done wrong. If I think it's wrong, I must apologise, that'd be the right thing to do. But until I am told, there is nothing I can do."
To a question regarding the validity of holding a Test Championship when all cricketing nations do not have a chance to play against every other Full Member nation, Lorgat said: "I don't think it is an excuse not to have a championship if not all can be participating in it.
"The reality is that we have ten Full Members playing. So why can't there be a Test Championship for those ten Full Member teams? And the rationale was, we needed to sustain Test cricket. We needed to create something that would retain interest in Test cricket.
"We started with the rankings. You can argue that there s far more value to the Test rankings than in years gone by. It means something to be No. 1, it means something to be in the top three or four. A part of the thinking was that the top four would qualify to play in the Test Championship."
Lorgat also explained the reason behind the lack of black Africans in South African cricket. "I think it is a natural goal to have the team representative of the populace. But it is not that easy, because once you select players into the team they are in it for a 10-15 year career," Lorgat said.
"So whether you take the likes of Graeme Smith or Jacques Kallis, or even Makhaya Ntini for that matter, Shaun Pollock, all those have come through a system. You couldn't replace one with a black African so easily. You need a player to come through the system.
"Those black Africans who were coming through the system at an early age were disadvantaged through social circumstances. It was very difficult for them to have sustained their growth in the game and looked after their families. They have to go out and work.
"Between trying to educate yourself, playing the game, and going to work, something has to give. And the sacrifice invariably was the sport, because the family expects you to bring the food on the table, educate yourself. That made it very difficult for them to progress to the highest level of the game," he said.
In February last year, when the Big three -- India, England and Australia -- proposed to revamp the ICC, CSA along with Pakistan and Sri Lanka were against it, but later CSA president Chris Nenzani voted in favour of the proposal after a chat with BCCI president N Srinivasan.
Talking about the issue, Lorgat said: "There were several changes to the initial proposal. If you study the proposal that was initially floated and what was subsequently accepted, it was very different. When several of the initial proposals were removed and changed to the satisfaction of Mr Nenzani, that is when South Africa entered the debate.
"I think you need to appreciate that there was a lot of debate and discussion. There was a sense at a particular point that the initial proposals were completely not acceptable. Where it got to, Mr Nenzani said that is not a perfect situation. But we are prepared to engage now and see what we can do going forward.
"The initial proposal was something we were not ready to accept. But when it got to a certain point of being amended, it was not perfect but it was something that we were prepared to go with. I think those questions are more relevant to the powers that are in command today because effectively there are three countries who have a strong role to play in the leadership of world cricket," he said.
However, Lorgat said the revenue split is still not fair, especially on the weaker board. "I don't believe that the revenue split is fair on all the countries. But we have to accept what we have got," he said.
"In my view, there should be support for the weaker countries. We should grow the game across the world, but that is what is being accepted. We have got the model now. We have to live with what we have got and cut our cloth accordingly.
"I do foresee, more than Cricket South Africa, other weaker countries struggling in the future, if not already. Because there is a disparate spending of money and it not going to the countries that need it most.
"But we are doing the best we can with that context in mind, and so far, we (CSA) are in a great space as far as cutting our cloth, and it is according to the revenue that we have got," he said.