Johannesburg – Six months after parting ways with Cricket South Africa (CSA), Haroon Lorgat is still drawing a full chief executive’s salary from the organisation because of a delay in negotiating his settlement.
Lorgat was widely blamed by CSA for the sequence of events that led to the debut of the Global T20 League – South Africa’s answer to the Indian Premier League, Big Bashand other cricket leagues – being postponed in November as he “failed” to sell broadcasting rights for the competition.
With Lorgat believing he was well on the way to securing a broadcaster, the two parties decided to part ways on September 28 – significantly earlier than the 2019 expiry date of his contract.
As a result of the unpaid settlement, which at the time was rumoured to be about R3 million despite the lack of negotiations, CSA has effectively been paying the equivalent of two chief executive salaries.
Lorgat’s acting replacement, Thabang Moroe, is said to have resigned from his previous day job to focus on the position.
An industry insider said the reason there was a delay in coming to an agreement over the settlement was that the Global T20 review investigation was postponed in the hopes that Lorgat would be found liable.
“It was logical for them to do that,” said the official.
“But what wasn’t logical was the fact that, after the review was concluded, they carried on paying him despite the fact that they knew the settlement amount was not going to come down.”
CSA president Chris Nenzani rebutted the suggestion that things were in limbo with the settlement.
“The information I have received from the legal team handling this matter is that there has been a sense of agreement,” he said.
“I was briefed that, as of March 31, the matter would be concluded and I have not yet received a briefing to the contrary. If there is no conclusion, it has to be on a minor level. So I’m quite hopeful that we’ll conclude things as soon as possible.”
Nenzani also explained why the settlement negotiations had to be pushed back.
“We put proceedings on hold as we were doing the investigation around the governance processes of trying to put together the Global T20.”
Drawing a line under Lorgat’s departure, which at the time was said to be amicable but has proven to be otherwise, would have been in CSA’s best interests, especially as Lorgat is rumoured to have been earning about R3 million a year.
Having lost in the region of R180 million in expenses associated with trying to get the Global T20 off the ground – said costs include compensating the drafted players and apparently could increase if the owners decide to follow suit – one would have imagined the organisation would have wanted to put an end to the losses incurred by a tournament that has yet to see the light of day.
The industry insider said he found it strange that nobody was held accountable following the review.
“If Haroon is not responsible, then the board should be because they appointed him to start the Global T20. We’ve lost R180 million, and it seems like nobody will be held accountable.”