Cricket South Africa (CSA) boss Haroon Lorgat has hit back at claims he influenced the selection of the Proteas side that lost to New Zealand in the Cricket World Cup semi-final.
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According to Netwerk24, Lorgat sent coach Russell Domingo a late night SMS telling him to pick between Farhaan Behardian and Rilee Rossouw, or Vernon Philander over Kyle Abbott.
The report suggests that Proteas skipper AB de Villiers was so incensed over the request he considered withdrawing his side from the match.
It alleges that Lorgat wanted three “players of colour”, however the CSA chief angrily denied the claims on Wednesday.
“This is utter nonsense reporting with false allegations being made,” Lorgat said in a CSA statement.
“There was no SMS, WhatsApp or BBM sent by me to the coach, and why would I want to do that when I know the team was confirmed and already announced to the players and team management at their usual 18h00 team meeting that evening.
“Our media policy is not to respond to speculative or false media reports where unnamed sources are quoted, but in this case, due to the damage being caused to the reputation of the Proteas, CSA and individual players soon after a painful exit from the World Cup, I feel it necessary to speak out and make it clear that this report is false,” added Lorgat.
“I would also like to place on record, that at no time did I ever speak to any journalist from the Beeld/ Burger/Netwerk 24, yet I’m quoted in this article. “It is very sad to read such poor and false reports which I believe is no more than an attempt to discredit the Proteas and CSA.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all South African fans for their fantastic support of our much loved Proteas team and assure fans that we will do our best to build winning teams.”
Philander was selected in the Proteas XI in the semi-final, which South Africa lost in a gripping encounter.
He came into the game under an injury cloud after missing three matches due to a hamstring injury picked up during the pool phase.
The 29-year-old ended with figures of 0-52 and left the field during South Africa’s run chase due to injury.