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SA T20 Global League team owners keen on kicking out corruption: Lorgat

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on July 31, 2017
Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat (right) with Port Elizabeth team owner Dubai-based Ajay Sethi.

(Supplied photo)

Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat said that the team owners of the South Africa T20 Global League were inspired in kicking out the menace of corruption and were keen on setting the tone for the brand-new League.

The eight owners and representatives of the teams - c, converged in Dubai for a two-day workshop, headed by Lorgat. Informations and plans were discussed and shared, with the running theme being on how to tackle corruption.

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, chairman of the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Anti-Corruption & Security Unit had addressed the owners during the workshop.

"We always had it in our plans to meet with all the owners once we had decided who the eight team owners were. We needed to do this workshop to share lot of planning, lot of information. There was lot of detail. The two full days were extremely good. I think a lot of the owners appreciated the information and the plans that we shared with them. So, it was always in our agenda to meet up with them because collectively, we want to make this a very successful League," Lorgat told the Khaleej Times, in an exclusive interview, on Sunday.

"In a sense, we are fortunate that we have got four existing team owners, we have got four new team owners, lot's of excitement in the room. I'm extremely pleased with the quality of the owners that we have got. So, we needed to share all of the knowledge and information amongst all of us,"      added the former ICC CEO.

Lorgat said that fight against corruption, which had riddled cricket, was one of the main themes of the workshop.

"We were very clear, right up front and we invited Sir Ronnie Flanagan from the ICC to explain the risks around corruption and the need to make sure that we are alert to it because this is a global challenge that we have got in the sport of cricket, or indeed in any sport. Sir Ronnie was clear in his message which is what we want, that the owners themselves must take responsibility to ensure that we are vigilant around the risks of corruption. So, it was a very good session and every one of the owners were inspired by the challenge and the need for them to do something and to be right up front in setting the tone," said the 57-year-old.

Preparations are on in full swing for the tournament to be held in November, with the CSA appointing Russell Adams as the tournament director. Adams has rich experience in the abridged format of the game, having worked as consultant with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL as well as vice-president of commercial, operations and the cricket academy of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"All our plans are on track. Pretty much if you go back to when we did the global launch of the League and the Invitation to Tender, which was on February 4, all of our plans have so far been on track. We wanted to launch the logo of the League on May 31, which we did, the owners on June 19, the player draft we are looking at somewhere late in August, about a month from now. All of it is so far, so good. This workshop date was also set for this weekend. So, pretty happy with the way we have been progressing," Lorgat said.

And Lorgat reckoned it will get hectic as they head towards the player draft on August 19.

"Not long from now, we have got to announce the team names, the team logos, the team identities. Many of the owners are now scheduling trips down to South Africa because they are presenting themselves to the city and to the local state association. So lots of events that are coming up in the future," he said.

Lorgat was also hopeful that Indian players will be available for the tournament in the future. "We have never planned it with Indian players because we respect what their policies are but we are hopeful that in due course that will change. Let's see what the future holds," said Lorgat.


Sethi impressed by workshop

Port Elizabeth team owner Dubai-based Ajay Sethi was quite impressed with the two-day workshop in Dubai for the South Africa T20 Global League and said that Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat's rich experience will make it a very successful League.

The Channel 2 Group chairman purchased the Port Elizabeth team and is the second from the UAE with Dubai's Suhail Abdullatif Galadari partnering Javed Afridi to own Benoni.

"Since this is a global league, the owners are from across the globe, from India, Pakistan, Dubai, Hong Kong, it was an opportunity to know the workings of the League. It was a very useful workshop. We are at the beginning of planning so I was very impressed with their presentations and their professionalism," Sethi told the Khaleej Times on Sunday.

"They spoke about the stadiums, the logistics, the sponsorships, television broadcast rights, what's happening with South African cricket, policies. They covered all the areas and gave their expert opinion. The thing that has most impressed me about this League was the anti-corruption measures. We had Sir Ronnie Flanagan, chairman of the ICC's Anti-Corruption & Security Unit speaking to the team owners. Flanagan gave a great presentation and a speech. It is a very serious issue that we have to deal with. Lorgat also spoke about it and various things associated with the League," he added.

Sethi, whose company is the global rights holder with the International Cricket Council (ICC) for radio and digital, said Lorgat was the key factor in the League.

"I believe that this League is done by the people. I see Lorgat as the key factor in this League. His rich experience with the ICC as well as with Cricket South Africa (CSA) has shown. He is highly professional and motivated person. That is a very big strength," Sethi said.

Sethi is now set to roll out the team's name and logo in the coming weeks.

"Now, the player draft will happen in August and then we are going to announce my team. We are travelling to Johannesburg this week and we have plans of officially unveiling our logo next week. We already have a name for the team. It will be a people's franchise and I would just tell them that I'm just the co-owner with them. The ownership will be the people," he said.

"We are hoping to have a dream team. We have Imran Tahir at the moment. There are almost 400 players in the draft and we have a fair idea about what we want," added Sethi.


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