Lorgat should be credited for South Africa’s success

January 3rd, 2009 - 2:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 3 (IANS) International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Haroon Lorgat can take some credit for South Africa’s march towards the No.1 spot in Tests.Lorgat, during his tenure as the chairman of selectors with Cricket South Africa (CSA), endured strong opposition to the selection of four most destructive players — Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, A.B. De Villiers and Ashwell Prince.

Amla, Steyn and De Villiers have been the key factors behind South Africa’s triumph Down Under while Prince was unfortunate to miss out on the three Tests with a injury despite being a part of the squad.

Lorgat was accused of picking Amla and Prince because of colour, not skill, while Steyn and de Villiers had plenty of detractors who believed they could never succeed in Test cricket.

“There was a lot of challenge to some of the players that were brought through and introduced during my tenure. A lot of it was coached in the name of transformation, and there were suggestions that there were forced quota systems in place,” Lorgat was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

“That was not the case and our plan has been vindicated, we believed the players deserved to get there on their own merits. There was a lot more fuss and speculation about the black players, so the likes of Amla and Prince, they were seriously questioned. There were also some serious issues around A.B. de Villiers … Dale Steyn was also introduced in my time,” he added.

“Thankfully all of them have come through and more than deserve their place in the team. It’s a pleasing part when it all comes through and it works out.”

Lorgat, who was in charge of selections during South Africa’s previous, ill-fated tour to Australia, rubbished the idea that he was forced to choose players of colour under a “quota system”.

“Other than a clear instruction to me that there shouldn’t be an all-white team, we were picking players on merit. If it wasn’t for some of the pressure put on, we may not have seen J.P. Duminy,” he added.

He also said that Australia’s long-standing reign atop the world rankings made the game less watchable.

“It’s always a lot more interesting for the public if there’s one, two, three teams in fact competing for the No.1 spot. It just makes it all the more interesting,” he said.

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