Dismissing reports of interference in team selection ahead of South Africa’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand as “utter nonsense”, CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat has clarified that no late-night instructions were given after the playing XI was announced.
Responding to reports in Afrikaans daily ‘Beeld’, Lorgat denied that he had sent instructions to Proteas coach Russell Domingo at 1 in the morning, insisting that the coach, who is also a member of the CSA selection panel, add one more player of colour to the squad.
It was widely speculated that coloured player Vernon Philander was included in the team ahead of Kyle Abbott for the last clash.
“This is utter nonsense reporting with false allegations being made,” said 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.
The cricket boss however said he had not spoken to any reporter from Beeld.
“It is very sad to read such poor and false reports which I believe are no more than an attempt to discredit the Proteas and CSA.”
CSA last week made known its plans to transform cricket in South Africa by teams at all levels having to include more Black players, who were disadvantaged during the apartheid era.