Why's India Still Bitter With South Africa, Wonders Former ICC Boss
Haroon Lorgat, who now heads Cricket South Africa, says he is still waiting to know why the Indian board is miffed with him, more than a year after administrative differences almost scuttled an international tour.
Almost 15 months after stepping aside temporarily as chief executive officer of Cricket South Africa to ensure that an impending tour by India in the dusk of 2013 went on as scheduled, Haroon Lorgat said he still does not know why the Board of Cricket Control in India was upset with him. The BCCI had expressed reservations about touring the Rainbow Nation if Lorgat was at the helm of affairs.
The rift between Lorgat and the Indian board stemmed from the former's days as International Cricket Council CEO. The Indians were miffed after former ICC legal head David Becker had issued a statement, slamming the BCCI for blatantly flouting the Future Tours Program (FTP). India had asked for an ethics committee inquiry against Lorgat and Becker over the comments. Several full member nations had expressed support for BCCI and even expressed their reservations over Lorgat continuing to be a part of ICC operations.
Becker had held the position with the game's world governing body for five years and was one of several lawyers offering advice to CSA at a time India were finalizing the tour itinerary with their South African counterparts. India's bone of contention with Lorgat still remained. The tour eventually went ahead and India were whipped 2-0 in the three-match ODI series before going down 1-0 in the two-match Test series. However, CSA had to ensure Lorgat stepped aside as far as any dealings with India were concerned.
An inquiry into Lorgat's alleged role in the Becker statement absolved the former ICC boss of all charges and he went on record to say he would apologise to the BCCI only if he knew why they were angry with him. But more than a year later, the veteran cricket administrator is still at a loss: "I clearly don't understand what the issues are. I think that is more relevant to be ascertained from the BCCI, Lorgat told ESPNcricinfo. "Nobody could tell. 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."
"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."
Since the Indian tour of 2013, BCCI has only grown more powerful, assuming greater financial control along with Cricket Australia and England & Wales Cricket Board. Lorgat would, for obvious reasons, want to bury the past deep but he is still looking for answers.
"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."
Since the rift last surfaced, there has been a wave of change within the BCCI as well. The much powerful president N. Srinivasan was made to step aside by the Indian Supreme Court which is hearing arguments on the spot-fixing and betting allegations during Indian Premier League 6. However, Lorgat continues to remain in the dark over what precisely turned off the mightiest cricket board in the world.