Johannesburg: The International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat is being touted as the strongest candidate to replace Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Gerald Majola.
Majola faces suspension and a full independent disciplinary inquiry when he returns from an ICC visit in Dubai in the next few days, unless he resigns before that, said the President of one of the CSA provincial affiliates on condition of anonymity.
The source, who admitted that he was one of the provincial heads who had been convinced to support Majola in his battle to oust then president of CSA Mtutuzeli Nyoka, said he had spoken to 10 other provincial presidents and the majority of them wanted Majola out.
The Nicholson inquiry instituted by sports minister Fikile Mbalula delivered its report on Friday, calling for action against Majola that includes probing of possible criminal charges against him by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The inquiry was instituted by Mbalula following two years of wrangling over huge IPL 2 bonuses that Majola paid himself and other CSA staff without the knowledge of the CSA board.
IPL 2 was played in South Africa due to security concerns around elections at the time in India.
Nyoka was ousted in absentia twice after he called for an independent inquiry into the matter.
The Nicholson report confirmed what an independent report commissioned from auditing firm KPMG by CSA had said earlier -- that Majola had breached his fiduciary duties as chief executive of CSA in terms of the Companies Act.
Majola and CSA have refused to comment, except for a one-line statement on Friday that said Majola was studying the Nicholson report.
But the provincial head said that three possible replacements for Majola were already being discussed in the top structures of CSA, with Lorgat heading the list.
Others are Jacques Faul and Andre Odendaal, chief executive of provincial franchises North-West and Western Province, respectively.
Lorgat is seen as having the best chance for his experience at the ICC.
Lorgat could not be reached for comment, but he recently indicated that he would not stand for another term in his ICC position.
South African players have also voiced their support for firm action by CSA on the report.
Chief executive of the South African Players` Association Tony Irish said they expected CSA to take immediate and decisive action on the recommendations of the Nicholson inquiry.
Mbalula is expected to make known his intentions on the recommendations of the Nicholson inquiry next week. Although he is not legally obliged to act on them because it was not a full Commission of Enquiry with powers of cross-examination, Mbalula has earlier indicated that he will act to stop the decay of cricket in South Africa as sponsors shy away in the wake of the debacle.