Haroon Lorgat, Cricket South Africa’s chief executive, has strongly denied reports that he sent an SMS instructing Proteas coach Russell Domingo to pick a player of colour for the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand.
Lorgat called the reports from Netwerk24 ‘poor’ and ‘trying to discredit the Proteas and CSA’.
In a statement CSA said: ‘Newspaper reports claimed this morning that Lorgat had sent the coach a message at around 01h00 apparently telling Domingo to choose between certain players.
‘This is utter nonsense reporting with false allegations being made,’ commented Lorgat.
‘There was no SMS, WhatsApp or BBM sent by me to the coach, and why would I want to do that when I know the team was confirmed and already announced to the players and team management at their usual 18h00 team meeting that evening.
‘Our media policy is not to respond to speculative or false media reports where unnamed sources are quoted, but in this case, due to the damage being caused to the reputation of the Proteas, CSA and individual players soon after a painful exit from the World Cup, I feel it necessary to speak out and make it clear that this report is false,’ added Lorgat.
‘I would also like to place on record, that at no time did I ever speak to any journalist from the Beeld/ Burger/Netwerk 24, yet I’m quoted in this article.
‘It is very sad to read such poor and false reports which I believe is no more than an attempt to discredit the Proteas and CSA.
‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank all South African fans for their fantastic support of our much loved Proteas team and assure fans that we will do our best to build winning teams,’ concluded Lorgat.
‘CSA will not comment further.’
Still, the questions remain. The three we have to ask are:
- South Africa beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the Cricket World Cup quarter-final. It was arguably the best ODI performance in the last decade. Why was the team changed for the semi-final against New Zealand?
- Who was the person who felt Vernon Philander would have been a better choice than the in-form Kyle Abbott for the semi-final?
- Were the Proteas captain and coach in agreement that the side to play New Zealand in the semi-final was their preferred XI?