Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC CEO, has been appointed Cricket South Africa's new chief executive. The position has been vacant since October last year, when Gerald Majola was fired in the aftermath of the bonus-payments scandal.
"Mr Lorgat's appointment follows a thorough and rigorous process to fill this important position," CSA president Chris Nenzani said. "The quality of the candidates was exceptional and I would like to express my appreciation to the sub-committee of the board as well as my colleagues on the board who have brought this matter to a highly satisfactory conclusion."
Although CSA refused to confirm the other candidates, Lorgat is believed to have seen off challenges from at least three other hopefuls. They included former football head, Bheki Shongwe, who was the managing director of Kaizer Chiefs, Murphy Morobe, who is in charge of Kagiso media and Denver Hendricks, a director at the University of Pretoria.
Of the names on the shortlist, Lorgat was the only one with extensive experience in cricket administration. He was previously a treasurer of CSA and convenor of selectors, and he spent four years as CEO of the ICC.
It was in the last of those roles that Lorgat is believed to have bumped heads with the most powerful body in cricket, the BCCI. They are thought to have clashed over the Future Tours Programme, the DRS and an ICC independent governance review. The BCCI expressed their unhappiness at Lorgat's possible appointment as early as March, when CSA drew up their initial shortlist.
At the time, lead independent director on CSA's board Norman Arendse confirmed that the BCCI had raised concerns over Lorgat. "We said to them we had embarked on a process and that it would be a premature to discuss him or the outcome of that process because we are waiting for it to be concluded," Arendse said.
CSA had also heard that the BCCI were considering pulling out of the upcoming tour should Lorgat be appointed. CSA proceeded to lengthen the process of appointing a new CEO, widened the net and allowed for more applicants to put their names forward.
Lorgat, who remained interested in the job, provided the board restructured as they were instructed to by a ministerial investigation into the bonus-payments affair, was also on the list the second time around. Before interviews could be conducted, the fixtures for an India tour comprising of two T20s, seven ODIs and three Tests were released by CSA. The BCCI stated their objection to the schedule but there has been no official news of a bid to boycott the tour. ESPNcricinfo understands the two boards are in discussions over whether to tweak the itinerary and CSA do not foresee any problems with India's visit.
Lorgat and his fellow applicants presented to CSA's board today and Lorgat was appointed immediately. A date has not been released for Lorgat to officially take up office, but he is believed to be available immediately. That would mean acting CEO Naasei Appiah will vacate the post as soon as next week.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent