Cricket South Africa (CSA) and some former Proteas stars have been accused of unfairly discriminating against players on the basis of race players in the recently submitted report by the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) commission.
A 235-page final report submitted by the SJN Commission administered by ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza has alleged that CSA administration, former captain and current director Graeme Smith, former wicketkeeper and current head coach Mark Boucher and former batter AB de Villiers were all involved in unfair discrimination against black players.
However, the CSA denied any involvement of racism in their actions and mentioned the authorised persons would have a look at the report, and the decisions regarding such will be taken thereafter.
“No decisions have been taken on any issues raised in the report, and it would be premature to speculate on any action that may be taken. The board has got to look at the report in its entirety and engage with it seriously. This will be a continuation of what we are already doing. Overall, the SJN was an important process, and that’s why the board backed it all the way. It is now the responsibility of the board to engage with the report,” said CSA in a statement.
The whole issue of racism in the South African cricketing arena came to light after Boucher and former spinner Paul Adams testified that the latter was given a nickname, which had some sort of racial overtones.
Similarly, the allegations against de Villiers were concerned with Khaya Zondo when he was part of South Africa’s ODI squad that toured India in 2015. Zondo was not picked in the team upon JP Duminy‘s injury for the final match of the series. In Zondo’s place, Dean Elgar was picked in the playing XI.
De Villiers, who recently bid farewell to all forms of the game, denied the charge stating he never took any decision which was based on anyone’s race.
“I support the aims of CSA’s Social Justice and Nation Building process, to ensure equal opportunities in cricket. 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,” tweeted De Villiers.
I support the aims of CSA’s Social Justice and Nation Building process, to ensure equal opportunities in cricket. 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. pic.twitter.com/Be0eb1hNBR
— AB de Villiers (@ABdeVilliers17) December 15, 2021