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CSA discriminated against players on basis of race, says SJN report

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Johannesburg, Dec 15 (IANS) Cricket South Africa (CSA) unfairly discriminated against players on the basis of race, the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) commission’s final report said on Wednesday.

In the 235-page document, submitted to CSA, ombudsman Dumisa Ntsebeza concluded that the administration, as well as former captain and current director Graeme Smith, current head coach Mark Boucher and former captain AB de Villiers had all engaged in prejudicial conduct.

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According to ESPNcricinfo.com, the report has recommended 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.

However, the report does not have any consideration for reparations for those found to have been unfairly discriminated against but recommended that a permanent office considers if any reparations should be paid.

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CSA said the issues facing cricket “are a complex interaction of multiple factors stemming from the history of this country and consequent socio-economic factors that prevail today”. The board added that it will engage with the report further in 2022.

“The board is still considering the report. It is a hefty document and needs a holistic response,” Lawson Naidoo, the CSA board chairperson, told ESPNcricinfo.

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“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,” it added.

The eye-opening findings revolve around the main pillars of South Africa’s golden years – Smith, Boucher and de Villiers.

Of the three, De Villiers can breathe easiest because he is not dependent on South African cricket for a living or anything else. But that’s not the case for Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, and Boucher, the men’s national team head coach.

Overall, the latest development may kick up a storm in the game in the country, who are struggling to overcome racism.

–IANS

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