Haroon Lorgat came to Cricket SA (CSA) under a cloud‚ generated another almost immediately‚ and is leaving under yet another.
July 2013: Lorgat is appointed CSA’s CEO in the wake of the bonus scandal and the partial restructure of the board that followed — and against the express wishes of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)‚ who had beef with Lorgat going back to his tenure as International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO.
November 2013: The BCCI hack India’s tour to SA from 12 to seven matches‚ a move widely seen as retribution for CSA’s insistence on appointing Lorgat. As a result, CSA lose R218m in revenue.
March 2014: Lorgat is cleared by an ICC investigation. The investigation related to allegations that Lorgat had knowledge of a controversial statement about the ICC Board and the Future Tours Programme by the ICC’s former legal head, David Becker. Lorgat was accused of helping prepare the statement but he was cleared.
October 2014: CSA launch their "improved national excellence programme"‚ the result of which was an intensive plan to restructure the game at all levels. Lorgat leads the initiative‚ which aims to significantly streamline the efficiency of the way cricket is run‚ coached‚ played and transformed in SA.
March 2015: After SA’s loss to New Zealand in the World Cup semifinal in Auckland‚ it emerges in the media that SA were forced to include a fourth player of colour. Lorgat repeatedly denies this was done‚ then concedes to being "consulted".
July 2015: Lorgat’s contract as CSA CEO is extended by three years until July 2019.
May 2017: Lorgat is honoured for his leadership in sport business at the Sport Industry Awards. "I think my success is attributed to the team‚ our whole company‚" he says in accepting his award.
June 2017: Lorgat looms large at the launch of the Twenty20 Global League (T20GL)‚ which is held at great expense in London. Former players are flown in from SA specifically for the function‚ some with no idea why they are present. Journalists have also been transported and accommodated on CSA money.
August 2017: Brimstone Investments‚ who were announced as a T20GL franchise owner at the London launch‚ pull out of the tournament — a decision Lorgat terms a "personal disappointment". Regarding the media reports on the issue, Lorgat says: "There are a lot of mischief-makers out there."
Why did Brimstone pull the plug? "We follow a rigorous investment process‚" its CEO‚ Mustaq Brey‚ said in a statement. "This venture had to undergo the same process and be tested against our standard investment criteria, as all other investment proposals."
September 2017: Bollywood star Preity Zinta steps in to buy the franchise Brimstone washed their hands of‚ saying she had "bumped into Haroon in a hotel [in Dubai] and that was pretty much it — it was an overnight decision".
September 2017: Lorgat brags that he "could have sold these [T20GL] broadcast rights 12 months ago … so we’re in no rush to go and do something and then say we shouldn’t have".
But‚ 36 days before the tournament is scheduled to start‚ a broadcast deal is not yet announced and insiders say franchise owners are worried about the lack of progress on nailing it down.
September 2017: After Lorgat meets T20GL franchise owners in Dubai, and after negotiations with prospective broadcasters in Mumbai — all in the space of a few days — CSA announces that it and Lorgat have "mutually agreed to part ways with immediate effect".
A release attributed to CSA president Chris Nenzani explains that "the reason was due to a breakdown in the relationship between the board and the CEO".
The fact that Lorgat and CSA chief financial officer Nassei Appiah are at loggerheads‚ not least over Appiah’s exclusion from major decision-making regarding the T20GL‚ is seen as key to Lorgat’s demise.