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HT Correspondent and PTI, Hindustan Times
New Delhi/Johannesburg, July 11, 2013
Who South Africa's cricket governing body chooses as its chief executive officer (CEO) next week may have a bearing on India's tour to the rainbow nation scheduled to begin in November.

Former International Cricket Council (ICC) chief Haroon Lorgat is a frontrunner for the CEO's post in Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the Indian cricket board has apparently made it known that his appointment could lead to a pullout from the series by Team India.

Lorgat is among the contenders shortlisted by CSA for the post and technically the favourite given his administrative experience in international cricket, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is opposed to him.

In March, CSA's independent director Norman Arendse revealed the BCCI had threatened to pull out of the tour if Lorgat got the CEO's post. The BCCI did not have the best of equations with Lorgat during his ICC stint.

In March 2011, the BCCI had written to Lorgat - then the ICC chief - and strongly objected to the international cricket's body's general manager David Richarson criticising Indian skipper MS Dhoni over his opposition to the umpire decision review system (popularly abbreviated as DRS).

Lorgat, as head of ICC, had strongly supported uniform implementation of DRS.

The BCCI, however, disagreed. What's more, during the 2011 World Cup, the Lorgat-led ICC left the BCCI fuming by shifting a prime India-England match from Kolkata to Bangalore, citing lack of preparedness.

Kolkata's famed Eden Gardens was left with three matches involving minnows. No BCCI official was willing to speak openly on the pullout threat.

But a BCCI functionary who did not want to be named said the board would prefer Lorgat not being made the CEO.

The BCCI is also miffed with the CSA for announcing the itinerary of the upcoming series without consulting it. India is opposed to the seven-match ODI series announced by the CSA.

Some of the other contenders for CEO's job are Bheki Shongwe, MD of Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa's current football champions, university professor Denver Hendricks and head of Kagiso media Murphy Morobe.

Given that none of them has any experience of cricket administration, Lorgat remains the favourite.