Proteas Geared Up for India Challenge Despite Cricket SA Racism Allegations

Proteas Geared Up for India Challenge Despite Cricket SA Racism Allegations

Tshepiso Mametela
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:50 PM
  • The Proteas are ready to take on India despite the current furore over allegations of racism at Cricket SA
  • Director of Cricket Graeme Smith and the team's head coach Mark Boucher have both been implicated
  • Test captain Dean Elgar has dismissed the notion of discrimination against players based on race

The South Africa senior national men's cricket team are ready to put in a firm challenge when facing India in a three-match Test series starting at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Boxing Day.

Competitive action for the Proteas on home soil comes at a time when allegations of racism against Cricket South Africa (CSA) Director of Cricket and former Proteas Test skipper Graeme Smith are running rampant.

Proteas, South Africa, India, Allegations, Racism, Discrimination, Cricket South Africa, CSA, Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith, Head coach, mark Boucher, Test, Captain, Dean Elgar, SuperSport Park, Imperial Wanderers, Newlands
Allegations of past racism are running rampant at Cricket South Africa. Image: Isuru Sameera Peiris/ Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

SABC News reported that the team's head coach Mark Boucher has also been implicated, along with former captain AB de Villiers and several other CSA employees, after the Social Justice and Nation Building Ombudsman (SJN)'s tentative findings into alleged past discrimination.

Since then, current Test captain Dean Elgar has authoritatively said he will not let the allegations interfere with the team's on-field performances. Smith has wholeheartedly denied the claims, with the governing body confirming on Tuesday that all persons implicated in the report by the Ombudsman would be investigated.

Speaking amid South Africa's preparations, Elgar seemed to dismiss the notion that several faces, past and present, discriminated against players based on race. Elgar defended the coaching staff and management, stating they have not received the backing they deserve, according to ESPNcricinfo.

“What happens off the field is irrelevant now. As a playing group, we've been through some testing times enough that we've formulated a good bond. We must be mindful of not copping out if things aren't [in the best shape] off-field. We're a team made up of professional players,” said Elgar.

Management and coaches have full support

The opening batsman, who is chasing 5 000 runs in Tests, appeared to lend his support to Boucher after former Test bowler Paul Adams alleged he'd been called "brown sh*t" by the current national team coach.

“As player's, we back our coaches and management. They put in a lot of work that goes unnoticed, and it gets watered down in the media. I know what they do behind the scenes. It's not nice to see them being harshly criticised,” maintained Elgar.

The Proteas, meanwhile, confirmed they will be without fast bowler Anrich Nortje for the series after he failed to recover from a niggle in time. Sports Brief understands that despite this, a replacement bowler has not been called up to the side.

The New Year's Test will be played at the Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg ahead of the third and final match in Newlands, Cape Town, before the start of the ODI series.

Smith and Boucher to stay on despite SJN report

Elsewhere, Sports Brief recently reported that Boucher and Smith will continue in their respective roles during India's tour of South Africa. This was confirmed by CSA as it grapples with the way forward after the two were painted in an unfavourable light in the SJN report.

Headed by Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza, the commission has been in session since April, investigating allegations of racial discrimination in the local game. In a report on the JacarandaFM news website, Ntzebeza found that former wicketkeepers' appointment to the post was irregular as it flouted CSA's Human Resources policies.

The report also stated that Smith's appointment as director of cricket was irregular, although he did not attribute this to racial discrimination. In a response to the report, CSA said:

"The Board has decided to institute formal enquiries into CSA employees, suppliers or contractors who are implicated by the SJN report."
Tshepiso Mametela photo
Tshepiso Mametela
SA Editor
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