FIRST ON EWN: Lorgat breaks silence

CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat has broken his silence after the Indian Tour debacle.

Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat insists that a decision taken for him to cease dealings with the Board of Control for Cricket in India was his own.

Lorgat broke his silence first to Sports Talk on Sunday evening after his return from Dubai.

The former ICC chief was withdrawn from having any involvement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the upcoming tour to South Africa, as well as from representing CSA at the International Cricket Council's Chief Executive's Committee.

This is after an independent investigation had been launched by the ICC in relation to comments made by its former legal advisor, David Becker.

Lorgat maintains the decision to relinquish some of his responsibilities last week was taken by him.

"I offered the board to step aside until the Indian tour was confirmed and until the allegation against me was cleared. I've got nothing to fear and I didn't want to be the person to hold up or have the tour cancelled. I was happy to step aside so the tour could continue as no one is bigger than the tour."

Lorgat insists he's able to carry out his duties, despite his responsibilities being trimmed.

"I don't believe my position is untenable because it's a workable solution as there is plenty to be done at CSA. There is a development programme that must be revisited and transformation issues to be dealt with. I look forward to getting my focus on areas I know I can make a difference in."

India baulked at CSA initially releasing a three Test, seven One Day Internationals and three T20 international schedule at the end of the year, as they wanted to star batsman Sachin Tendulkar to end his career at home, in his 200th Test match.

That will be against the West Indies in mid-November.

The composition of the tour was only recently released and after lengthy negotiations it was reduced to two Test matches and three One Day Internationals.

"I feel for my staff because they've endured tough times and they don't deserve this. It's unfortunate the board had little choice in this. From a personal perspective it wasn't easy, but I know the truth always prevails. I might be battered and bruised, but I'll be there when CSA smiles."

With India's now reduced tour, there's an opportunity for CSA to look at other alternatives, Lorgat says that talks of Pakistan coming to South Africa for a one-off Test are premature.

"There is not necessarily a test match, but we're trying to be creative. We have challenges with both the content for the fans and the players as well as financial issues."

The dates and venues of those are still to be confirmed.

To listen to EWN's exlusive interview with CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat click here.