Cape Town - Former Proteas spinner Paul Adams says he will not be testifying against former teammate and current South Africa coach Mark Boucher at his upcoming disciplinary hearing relating to the Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearings.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has appointed respected Senior Counsel, Advocate Terry Motau to chair the disciplinary hearing into the conduct of Boucher, who was fingered in the final SJN report. The hearing will be from May 16-19.
Boucher was strongly criticised in the final SJN report for calling Adams, ‘brown sh*t,’ as part of team song when the pair were in the SA side in the late 1990s.
However, Adams says he doesn’t want to be “the main focus of attention” during Boucher’s disciplinary hearing and that it wasn’t his “intention to single Mark Boucher out” as one of the players who sang the the song.
“There has recently been media attention about my presentation to the SJN last year. I am releasing this statement to set the record straight as l have not spoken about the matter to the media or public since,” Adams said in a statement published on his social media platforms
“The purpose of the SJN was for players/coaches and others involved with CSA to have a platform to honestly speak out about their experiences over the years.
“I went to SJN with no malice but with good intentions so that present & future players irrespective of race, wouldn’t have to go through what I and other players did in those times. Also, to make people aware that there needs to be education and acknowledgement around racism and for us to have a greater respect for each other within our society in South Africa.
“In my testimony, I said that during my time in the National team there was a culture within that environment that felt it was fine for a derogatory nickname given to me to be sung during fines meetings in the changing room by my fellow teammates.
“I indicated, upon reflection and after discussing with my wife (my girlfriend at the time) that I felt humiliated by the song. Not at any stage did I mention any players name who may have initiated the song,” Adams said.
Adams says Boucher’s name was came up during his testimony when he was asked if the former Proteas wicket-keeper was involved in the singing of the song.
“The only time I confirmed a name, was when the panel asked if I addressed Mark Boucher personally regarding the nickname and I replied that he was part of a broader group that sang the song and that I never addressed the matter within the team environment at the time. I was young and naïve at the time, trying to fit in and represent my country as best I could.
“Not at any stage did I go in there with the intention to single Mark Boucher out as one can confirm by listening to my testimony in the YouTube clip from 39:20 till 46:30.
“It is not my job or desire to find Mark Boucher guilty or not guilty, and to be cross-examined and turned into the main focus of attention. Therefore I will not be testifying at Mark Boucher’s upcoming disciplinary hearing.
“I spoke my truth of what happened to me as a young player, as per the process adopted by CSA on a serious issue in the game. The feelings articulated by myself and three dozen other senior players and coaches last year will hopefully help CSA find a new way in making cricket a winning and binding game for all.
“Again, my wish is that the same environment that existed when we played, must never repeat itself. If changes are made and situations such as these are learnt from, then my purpose of telling my story at the SJN has been achieved. Thank you to everyone who has listened and for all the support during these difficult conversations.”