Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced Juan James to replace David Teeger as the South Africa Under-19 captain for the upcoming ICC Under-19 World Cup, set to start later this week.
Teeger has been in the eye of a political storm ever since he dedicated an award to the Israel Defense Forces fighting in Gaza, leading to a complaint from a pro-Palestinian group.
The 18-year-old was initially cleared of violating the conduct codes of CSA and the Central Gauteng Lions after an independent inquiry was commissioned by both bodies.
However, Teeger was removed from the captaincy on the eve of the World Cup last week when CSA stated they feared for Teeger’s safety, after being advised that the upcoming tournament would likely be targeted by pro-Palestine supporters.
The DA has criticised CSA’s decision and called for Teeger to be reinstated.
“Allowing this precedent to stand would set us on a dangerous path,” said the DA’s Veronica van Dyk.
“The DA calls on CSA to immediately reverse this decision. Failing to do so will compel us to lodge a formal complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). We will also consider further action in due course.”
James, meanwhile, has led the South Africa Under-19 team before on a five-match tour of Bangladesh last July. The Western Province all-rounder is also a previous SA Schools captain and captained his alma mater Wynberg Boys’ High School.
CSA announced the appointment on its X account on Sunday, saying: “(James) to lead SA U19 at the world (sic).
“CSA (yesterday) announced that Western Province all-rounder (James) will captain SA U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024. The 19-year-old will lead the side in the 15th edition of the tournament with the Junior Proteas getting their campaign under way ...”
South Africa are hosting the ICC U19 Men’s World after the tournament was relocated from Sri Lanka only late last year. The Junior Proteas will face the West Indies in the opening game at the JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom on Friday.