Cricket South Africa will launch an investigation of “broad scope” into the factors that led to the postponement of the T20 Global League last week. The first edition of the T20 Global League, originally scheduled to begin on November 3, was instead postponed to November 2018 due to numerous logistical challenges as well as the prospect of heavy financial losses.
CSA said that the investigation, which was approved at a follow-up board meeting on October 15, is already underway.
“The scope of the investigation will in principle cover the planning and execution of the T20 Global League with specific focus on, inter alia, aspects of governance, agreements concluded, payments, staff recruitment, authorisation and delegation of authority, league development strategy, decision making etc,” a board press release stated. “The Board shall await receipt of the findings emanating from the investigation, and thereafter consider its options going forward.”
Difficulties in securing a stable television broadcast deal and central sponsorship had dogged the league, which was the brainchild of CSA’s recently-departed chief executive, Haroon Lorgat. Although CSA was in negotiations with local broadcaster Supersport, the rights figure was expected to have been substantially smaller than the $20 million deal the board had first hoped to sign, and there was uncertainty surrounding the arrangement even as the scheduled start drew closer. Further, CSA was anticipating a loss of $25 million (approx R342.58 million) in the first year, amounting to half of the board’s cash reserves, and expected losses of $6-8 million every year for the next five years, according to acting CEO Thabang Moroe.
The planning of the league was also hampered by Lorgat’s decision to part ways with CSA in September. This came about partly because the board was unhappy with his actions in putting together the league.
Following the postponement of the tournament, Moroe had said that the board took full responsibility for the situation and also admitted to the failure of the board’s system of checks and balances.
“The board takes full responsibility in terms of everything that’s happened,” Moroe said. “The board took its trust and placed it in the hands of a few individuals and obviously not all the information that the board needed to have in order for the board to be comfortable enough to continue with this league, that information wasn’t forthcoming and some of it is still not forthcoming.”
The board stated that it was committed to “credible and valid investigations” for the benefit of the league and for a successful tournament in 2018 and said that it would make no further media comments on the matter “in order to give space and time to the investigations to be conducted”.