Allegations, insinuations have been extremely hurtful, says Graeme Smith
CAPE TOWN - Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith says he was hurt by allegations of bias against black players.
Smith, currently Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket, has been the central figure in many of the former players’ grievances, with the former Proteas captain being particularly harshly criticised for his management of black players by former wicket-keeper Thami Tsolekile in a string of recent radio interviews.
Smith released a statement on Thursday afternoon in response.
“I am a proud South African and I am proud to have captained my team for as long as I did. The allegations and insinuations that have been made are extremely hurtful and I deny them in the strongest possible sense,” Smith said.
“Thami Tsolekile was my captain at South African schools junior level. I’ve never had an issue with him as a person and he has never borne out of the frustrations of his international career on a personal level.
“I understand that the current environment is one where a lot of hurts are finally being aired out in regard to South African cricket and I am happy to engage in discussions in the right forum even if its uncomfortable, because I think we can only learn from our past and help shape a better future.”
Cricket SA, meanwhile, have begun to put processes in place address the concerns with the Transformation Committee of the Board developing a sustainable response strategy, under its Project: Cricket for Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN).