CSA in a Chernobyl-like disaster, says former boss Lorgat

Haroon Lorgat (Gallo Images)
Haroon Lorgat (Gallo Images)

Durban - Cricket South Africa (CSA) is imploding in a fashion that former CEO Haroon Lorgat has likened to the devastating Chernobyl disaster.

The man taking most of the hits currently is under-fire CEO Thabang Moroe, who has seen the organisation descend into controversy and chaos under his watch.  

Moroe and the CSA Board - made up of 10 individuals following the recent resignations of Iqbal Khan and Shirley Zinn - will meet in Johannesburg on Saturday at OR Tambo International for a "special sitting" that will seek to urgently address the many issues facing the organisation. 

Moroe might not survive. 

According to Lorgat, if a majority of the Board expresses a lack of confidence in Moroe's capabilities to fulfil his duties on Saturday, then that will be enough to see him overthrown. 

In a week that has seen the South African cricket community expressing serious concern at the current state of the game's leadership, it would be a largely popular outcome. 

Things reached boiling point over the weekend when a decision was taken to revoke the accreditations of five South African cricket journalists because of how they were covering ongoing events at CSA.

In embarrassing fashion, Moroe was forced to backtrack and apologise to all involved.

The backlash, however, has been brutal with numerous calls over the last few days to see Moroe removed as CEO.

Lorgat, however, believes that the Board and Members Council itself are even more at fault as a major contributor to the predicament that the organisation currently finally finds itself in. 

Based on a recommendation from the Board and Members Council, a decision taken in September to amend the CSA constitution and allow president Chris Nenzani to continue in his role for another year, Lorgat says, was the first warning sign that all was not well. 

As president, Nenzani heads up the Board and he and the rest of its members could save face by removing Moroe on Saturday. 

"It's like the Chernobyl disaster," Lorgat told Sport24 on Thursday.

"The board could see it coming for the last year, but did nothing about it.

"I never thought things would get this bad."

If Lorgat had his way, extreme intervention from either the Members Council or government would see the entire CSA Board suspended and an independent body appointed to get the organisation back on track. 

"The Board appointed Thabang at first in an acting capacity when I left. He is 36-years-old and, despite his best intentions, he does not have the necessary experience to be in such a role," Lorgat said. 

"The Board saw Thabang operate in an acting capacity for about six months and should have seen the red flags. They didn't, and now they are in this mess as a result."

A man who has always been passionate about transformation and cricket at grassroots level, Lorgat believes that CSA under Moroe has moved backwards in both of those areas. 

"We are not seeing the bigger consequences below the surface, which is that we are losing a generation of talented cricketers," he said.

"Why would a talented young sportsman pursue a career in cricket with all of this going on? Why would his parents encourage him to?"

The fast-tracking of team director Enoch Nkwe and Moroe to top positions, Lorgat added, is counter-productive to the organisation's transformation goals. 

Lorgat stood down as CEO in September 2017 following a stand-off with the Board after a decision to pull the plug on the T20 Global League.

"It's been painful to watch," he said.

"A lot of good people left this organisation in a strong and healthy financial position. We were recognised by others as being world class.

"Seeing what has taken place over the last 18 months hurts. The game that we all love so much has suffered, and that is the saddest part."

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