Cricket

SJN Commission accuses Cricket South Africa of unfair discrimination against players on basis of race: Report

Former South African batsman AB de Villiers (L) and former captain Graeme Smith are among those mentioned in the report File

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has been accused of unfair discrimination against players on the basis of race by the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) commission, a development which may kick up a storm in the game in the country.

A 235-page final report submitted by the SJN Commission head Dumisa Ntsebeza has accused CSA administration, former captain and current director Graeme Smith, current head coach Mark Boucher and former batter AB de Villiers of engaging in prejudicial conduct.

According to ESPNcricinfo.com, the report has recommended for the appointment of a permanent ombudsman to deal with race and gender-based complaints in South Africa cricket. The report has also recommended that CSA puts in place an anonymous grievance policy.

The issue came to light after Boucher and former spinner Paul Adams testified that the latter was given a nickname which has racial overtones by his national team-mates, including the current head coach.

The SJN Commission report also concerns about Thami Tsolekile's non-selection for the national side following the retirement of Boucher in 2012.

"The decision of the panel was totally irrational and showed clear signs of systemic racism," the report read, according to ESPNcricinfo.com.

"CSA, Mr Graeme Smith and some selectors at the time really failed Mr Tsolekile and many black players of this time in many ways." It also relates to de Villiers and Khaya Zondo affair among others, when the latter was part of South Africa's ODI squad that toured India in 2015 but not selected in the team when JP Duminy was injured for the final match of the series.

In Zondo's place, Dean Elgar, who was part of the Test squad, played in that match.

Boucher had admitted that he was among those who sang a song which included the slur for which he has already apologised, stating that white players in South Africa were unprepared for the realities of post-Apartheid team dynamics.

De Villiers , meanwhile, in a twitter post on his official handle, has supported the probe, saying whatever decisions he took during his career he believed "was in the best interest of the team, never based on anyone's race".

"I support the aims of CSA's Social Justice and Nation Building process, to ensure equal opportunities in cricket," de Villiers tweeted.

"However, in my career, I expressed honest cricketing opinions only ever based on what I believed was best for the team., never based on anyone's race. That's the fact."

CSA has said that the SJN process, which was initially supposed to last four months but was extended to over six, cost the organisation $500,000, but felt it was "both necessary and productive."


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 6, 2022 8:58:05 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/sjn-commission-accuses-cricket-south-africa-of-unfair-discrimination-against-players-on-basis-of-race-report/article37962684.ece