Haroon Lorgat, outgoing chief executive of the ICC, has confirmed he would be open to an offer from Cricket South Africa (CSA) subject to a complete restructure of the board.The organisation may soon have to search for a new boss following the suspension of Gerald Majola in March and Lorgat, along with current acting CEO Jacques Faul, are among the top candidates.
Majola's suspension after ministerial inquiry chaired by judge Chris Nicholson found that he had breached the Companies' Act when R4.7 million (US $ 671, 428) was paid to staff in bonuses following the successful hosting of the IPL. Nicholson found that CSA lacked sufficient corporate governance and recommended a complete overhaul of the composition of the CSA board, something Lorgat sees as crucial to whether he will consider a role at CSA.
"I thought I would initially take some time out from cricket after leaving the ICC but I have been heartened by the early progress I see at CSA," Lorgat told ESPNcricinfo. "With their Board now committed to restructure, I would be happy to consider a formal approach."
Nicholson studied the Woolf report and Australia's Crawford and Carter report to learn about the latest governance issues in sport. The central tenet he took from both was the principle of independent directorship. "Both [reports] are emphatic that the role of the independent directors is crucial in areas of high risk to the ethics and governance of the game," Nicholson's report read. "Similar sentiments are applicable to CSA."
Lorgat was in charge of the ICC when the Woolf report was compiled and is in favour of greater independence at board level. "With the huge growth experienced in all sports over the last decade and the potential for much more, it is imperative that sports governance models keep pace with the expectations of all stakeholders," he said. "The playing and commercial aspects of the game have transformed enormously but sadly the same cannot be said about the governance and administration standards."
CSA's board comprises 22 members, 11 of whom are the presidents of the provincial affiliates. A further three are black African representatives while the eight others are directors, four of whom are independent. Nicholson recommended a smaller board with more outsiders. The Woolf report suggested a 14-member board for the ICC while Crawford and Carter said Cricket Australia's Board should have a maximum of nine non-executive directors. "A larger board according to them wastes time with procedure, inhibits proper discussion and allows individual directors to shirk their responsibilities without being noticed," Nicholson said.
Nicholson said the advantages of using "outsiders" instead of people who become administrators through the cricketing ranks (starting from club level) will benefit a professional body like CSA. "Lord Woolf and Crawford and Carter emphasise the importance of the Board consisting of competent persons with skills that can contribute to the overall vision of cricket," he said. "They suggest that an analysis of cricket administrations round the world might suggest a predominance of ex-players, accountants or some other category with an insufficient mix of expertise to guide the complex business of cricket administration."
The recommendation for CSA was to form a 12-member board with nine independent directors. "The advantages include a disinclination to favour any province out of proportion to its deserts and a tendency to advance a more national perspective," Nicolson said. The recommendation also included a clause that for a director to be appointed, voted off or any major cricketing decision to be taken at least two-thirds of the provincial affiliates should be in favour.
In accepting the recommendations of the Nicholson report, CSA agreed, in principle, to restructure its board. An eight-person steering committee, consisting of four current board members and four people who have had previous experience in cricket, was named in March to discuss the restructure, which is expected to take place at the next AGM in September. If a new CEO is to be appointed, it would also happen in September, even though Majola's disciplinary hearing is scheduled to be complete by May 31.
The current board have held on to their positions after their most recent meeting with the country's sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, on April 26, despite speculation they may have been asked to resign en masse. Mbalula said he was impressed that they had shown commitment to the Nicholson report's recommendations and had taken steps, such as putting together the steering committee and launching a transformation fund for development, to implement Nicholson's recommendations.