ICC rejects corruption in ICC grant and Lorgat job
International Cricket Council (ICC) has rejected the possible involvement of corruption in the ICC making a half a million US dollar grant to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and SLC appointing ICC’s outgoing CEO Haroon Lorgat as an advisor for a huge salary.
“All decisions regarding financial exchanges including grants, loans to our member countries are taken by our Finance and Commercial Affairs Committee. At the moment, the head of that committee is ICC president Alan Isaac himself. The CEO has only little power over the final decision. So, it is absurd to come to such a conclusion” ICC’s newly appointed CEO David Richardson who replaced fellow South African Lorgat two months ago, told Saroj Pathirana of BBC Sinhala Service yesterday.
ICC’s head of Media and Communications Colin Gibson told BBC that ICC has given SLC an outright grant of US dollars half a million and also a One million US dollars as an advance which advance will be redeemed from the ticket income of the forthcoming ICC World T20 to be hosted by Sri Lanka and a further One million US dollars as a long term loan payable by 2015. The total disbursement is a whopping US 2.5 million dollars.
However former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga said there are enough reasons to suspect a connection between the grant and the employment provided to Lorgat who was heading the ICC at the time money was passed.
“Everyone gets suspicious here. We heard that Mr. Lorgat is being paid one lakh US dollars. So, when we get five lakhs of US dollars, we are giving him back one lakh. As we can see, this is what’s happening” Ranatunga told BBC.
Ranatunga feels this is even more serious than mere conflict of interest.
“If it happened when Mr. Lorgat was there (ICC), employing him as an advisor after he left the job, I think is a procedure like paying him underneath (the table), rather than conflict of interest. That is how I think” said Ranatunga.
But ICC’s CEO Richardson vehemently denied the allegation.
“I don’t agree. Whatever way you look at it, the decision to give Mr. Lorgat a contract came a long time after that decision (to provide a financial grant to SLC). There was no mention about Mr. Lorgat helping out SLC at the time. I think it is completely wrong to talk about it anymore” responded Richardson.
In an interview with “Daily Mirror” SLC President said that there is no guarantee that Lorgat report will be implemented.
Arjuna Ranatunga a Member of Parliament questioned the point of employing Lorgat if that was the case.