Second South African now in running for top ICC post

April 1st, 2008 - 10:56 am ICT by admin  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, April 1 (IANS) A second seasoned South African cricket administrator is now reportedly being considered for the position of chief executive of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the wake of Imtiaz Patel having declined an offer from the ICC to take up the seat. The Afrikaans daily Beeld said here Tuesday Haroon Lorgat, a former national selector, is reportedly one of the new candidates that the ICC will consider after the world cricket authority said in a statement Monday that Patel had decided to remain in South Africa in his current position as head of television channel SuperSport.

Lorgat is reported to be a strong contender for the post, as he is believed to have the support of the president of Cricket South Africa, Norman Arendse.

Although the ICC a fortnight ago announced Patel’s appointment to the position being vacated by Australian Malcolm Speed, Patel immediately said that he was still weighing his options.

Patel came under some pressure here for having waited two weeks before making a final call on the appointment, but his patriotism came through in his remarks in an ICC statement: “My family and I have reflected deeply on the wonderful opportunity which the ICC presented to me to fulfil such an important role in a sport which is in my blood.

“After considering my position carefully, I have, however, resolved to remain in my beloved country, South Africa, and continue in my challenging and fulfilling role as chief executive officer of SuperSport International.”

Commenting on Patel’s decision, ICC president-elect David Morgan said: “We are obviously disappointed that Imtiaz has chosen to withdraw his interest, having regarded him highly.

“However, the fact that Imtiaz has withdrawn does not mean that, by default, we will be left with a candidate who is, in any way, inferior to him. In fact, we have been fortunate to have several high calibre candidates on the shortlist, all of whom bring something slightly different to the table.”

The Recruitment Committee charged with identifying a successor to Speed - ICC president Ray Mali, Creagh O’Connor and vice President Sharad Pawar - will now reconvene to consider the other candidates.

This was the second time in recent months that well-known South African sports administrators had left the international cricketing fraternity red-faced by rejecting an appointment after it had been announced.

Earlier, former South African national coach Graham Ford declined the position of coach to the Indian side after the Board of Control for Cricket in India had already announced it amid much fanfare.

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