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A couple of days ago Haroon Lorgat closed his office in Dubai, where he is the chief executive of the International Cricket Council, and made a poignant flight home to South Africa. Returning to the country where he fell in love with cricket, as a South African-born Indian once barred from playing the game with anyone of a different skin-colour, Lorgat anticipated today's opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy with bittersweet relish.

He still remembers when, under apartheid, he and his friends played with a scuffed red ball in isolated corners of the country. Thirty years later, as the most powerful executive in world cricket and launching a tournament that means so much to him, Lorgat's passion is obvious. "I'm trained as an accountant," he says, "and so I'm a realist. But I can't deny my pride going back to South Africa for a tournament I think will totally refresh the 50-over game. I'm determined we give this format the profile it deserves. And what's impressed me most is that the players seem very excited about it."

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