Former chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat’s comparison of Cricket South Africa’s recent problems to the Chernobyl disaster is awful, but has typified all the associated and unnecessary racket.
Likening the political woe of one country’s sporting body to a nuclear accident that killed 4,000-plus people – and harmed many more across a continent – is uncouth and irresponsible.
‘It’s like the Chernobyl disaster. The board could see it coming for the last year, but did nothing about it. I never thought things would get this bad,’ Lorgat told Sport24.
Lorgat’s remarks were arguably innocent, albeit ignorant, but have largely characterised reaction to CSA chief executive officer Thabang Moroe’s shortcomings.
From former CSA president Norman Arendse’s open letter and the resignations of board chairperson Iqbal Khan and independent director Shirley Zinn, to at least three of five journalists’ response to Moroe’s misinformed censorship, the attempts to capitalise or withdraw have been inadvertent or intentional.
Former selector Hugh Page, cricket personalities Vincent van der Bijl and Ali Bacher are also among those sought for opinion on the purported Moroe mess. Others have volunteered judgment, regardless.
Standard Bank and the Willowton Group were justified in public admonishment of CSA. The latter’s insistence that Moroe and CSA president Chris Nenzani resign with immediate effect is particularly telling. Sponsors want to be associated with brands that are well led by strong management, not those rescinding actions and issuing apologies on a near daily basis.
Arendse’s open letter smacked as self-serving – and an attempt to remain relevant a decade after a checkered tenure with CSA. If he genuinely suspected ‘that the horse has bolted and that we are beyond the precipice and into the abyss’, why make such wide-sweeping statements?
Otherwise levelheaded journalists were awkwardly influenced, too. Thrust to popular headlines instead of humbly bylines, the six-hour suspension of media accreditation was more of a palaver than a genuine incident. A lack of formal accreditation was never going to stop seasoned and outspoken writers. At most, it prevented entry to the media centre for one Mzansi Super League fixture. This is not to say the journalists should have just accepted the decision and kept quiet. It could have been handled better, though. The publications they write for, too, should have objectively considered some rather subjective wording prior to publication.
Moroe’s smite in revoking the accreditation was, indeed, misguided. It was more becoming of an immature King Edward VII School than a CSA CEO. He hasn’t been the only petulant character in this debacle, though.
Photo: Gallio Images