Friday, October 29, 2010

Haroon Lorgat: Mr Clean

S Kalyana Ramanathan / New Delhi September 14, 2010

If formidable challenges help define a person’s real mettle, this is definitely the time for Haroon Lorgat to tell the world he means business. As CEO of International Cricket Council, this accountant-turned-management consultant-turned-PE firm founder has his plate full while the world of sports fans and sports managers wait to see if he will stand up to the big challenge.

That challenge was a scathing report based on a sting operation by weekly tabloid News of the World from Rupert Murdoch’s stable that three Pakistani players were involved in a match fixing scandal during the fourth test match between England and Pakistan at Lords involving £150,000 changing hands.

The ICC under Lorgat’s leadership lost no time in springing into action. Less than a week after this news broke, despite severe criticism by Pakistan Cricket Board and Pakistan High Commission in London, Lorgat along with colleague Ronnie Flanagan of ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit temporarily suspended the three players pending investigation not only by Scotland Yard, but also the ICC itself.

Even before this, just two days into the scandal surfacing Lorgat went public and said, “Make no mistake — once the process is complete, if any players are found to be guilty, the ICC will ensure that the appropriate punishment is handed out. We will not tolerate corruption in this great game.”

Born in South Africa, Haroon completed his BCom from Rhodes University and went to work for one of the Big Four accounting firms, where he trained to become a chartered accountant in 1985. After a brief stint at IBM, he set up his own consulting firm, which he merged into Ernst & Young. In June 2008, he became ICC’s CEO — only the third man to hold this office in the body’s 99-year old history. A cricket all-rounder himself, Logart has played 76 first class matches for his country. However, going by the widening scope of the current cricket scandal, this could prove his toughest innings so far.

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