Days after David Becker, a legal advisor to Cricket South Africa (CSA), launched a verbal attack on the N. Srinivasan-led BCCI, the CSA suspended their CEO Haroon Lorgat, media reports said. It is a development that would be seen as an attempt by the CSA to appease India to ensure their upcoming visit goes glitch-free. Lorgat's exit may bring to an end a long, bitter episode between the BCCI and CSA.
It is learnt the ICC will call for an independent probe into Becker's statements. There has not been an official version of these developments from the CSA or the ICC yet. Lorgat, is it reported, will no longer be part of the CSA's dealings with the ICC or BCCI.
Horgat was to be sent on a “long leave” by his own board headed by Chris Nenzani. Lorgat had been the reason CSA’s relations with the BCCI had soured and had led to a shortening of India’s visit scheduled for the year-end.
Becker had earlier been with the ICC while Lorgat had been its its CEO. It was during this tenure at the ICC that Lorgat had rubbed the BCCI the wrong way. Becker had been critical of the BCCI neither confirming nor cancelling the full tour.
“I could no longer reconcile my own values as a person and a professional with what I was witnessing at ICC board level,” Becker said recently. “The ICC has become powerless in the face of India's dominance and is forced to succumb to the manipulative tactics of the BCCI just to keep their jobs.”
While these were Becker’s comments, India viewed them as having Lorgat’s backing.
Nenzai had met Srinivasan and BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel at the sidelines of a meeting at the ICC, Cricinfo reported. It is understood the two boards have agreed to carry out a curtailed tour with three ODIs, two Tests and a warm-up game.
The tour is expected to begin in early December with the ODIs and conclude with the Boxing Day Test.
The ICC disowned Becker’s comments saying he had made them in his personal capacity.
“The ICC is disappointed to read the inaccurate and unsubstantiated comments made by Mr Becker about the governance of the ICC and its board of directors,” the ICC said. “These comments are made some 18 months after Mr Becker left the ICC, and at a point in time when he is acting as legal advisor to Cricket South Africa. However, having spoken with the president of CSA, Mr Chris Nenzani, we are assured that these comments do not reflect the view of CSA and are Mr Becker's own personal views.”