“As far as transformation is concerned, we make no apologies,” said Lorgat at the Wanderers where CSA launched a new 16-team Africa T20 Cup starting in September.
“We made it very clear from the outset of my tenure when we hosted the transformation Indaba that we will pursue transformation aggressively, and in a very responsible way.”
The reports suggested that Vernon Philander was selected ahead of the in-form Kyle Abbott in South Africa’s semifinal defeat to New Zealand last month, on the basis of meeting transformation targets instead of merit. Philander had struggled with a hamstring injury throughout the World Cup, and sparked the reports in the wake of the Proteas’ loss to the Kiwis.
The issue intensified last week when Proteas motivator in a consultant role during the World Cup, Mike Horn confirmed the allegations that Philander was selected ahead of Abbott due to politics. Horn later said, in a letter to CSA, his quotes were taken out of context.
CSA then sent out a nine-point statement on Saturday following what they considered unsubstantiated and speculative reports on the issue.
Lorgat said he did not believe the matter had been reported responsibly by the media.
“I hope that the media in turn will report in a responsible way,” said Lorgat.
“Because that is not my view as I sit here now. We made clear what our targets would be, and how we would manage it. Above all, don’t forget the concept of merit selection. That seems to be something that people sidestep.”
Instead of appointing an external investigation into the matter, CSA appointed their own board of directors to conduct a factual examination on Friday on the team selection process for the match in question, and the statement followed the next day.
At the end of the statement, after saying CSA were satisfied with the board’s findings, CSA president Chris Nenzani took a swipe at the way the media were reporting the issue.
“It is clear that the allegations made in various media are unfounded and mischievous,” said Nenzani.
When Lorgat was asked about transformation quotas instead of transformation targets, he became defensive about the wording.
“Transformation targets, I think you should get your vocabulary right. We always say targets,” said Lorgat.
On Horn’s comments which fuelled the fire in the media, Lorgat suggested Horn did not have great command of the English language.
“I haven’t spoken to Mike, the only thing I can say is that he’s not the best in English. I think he’s been put on a spot that he should not have been put. I’m glad you say Vernon Philander should never be regarded as a quotas player, because I’d like to know what you guys think.”
Philander’s achievements and statistics cannot be questioned, the crux of the matter was his fitness and whether he was selected to meet quota targets. Lorgat, however, was quick to point to the achievements of Philander and not his fitness leading into the match.
“Philander is a world class player, who deserves to be there unlike what some of you might think. That issue is closed as far as we’re concerned,” said Lorgat. – ANACricket SA CEO Haroon Lorgat has stood firmly behind the transformation targets of the cricketing body.
Original source: Lorgat won’t apologise for transformation