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South African cricket racism issue: Report implicates Smith, Boucher and de Villiers


International Debutant

It sounds like a thorough investigation and they've been willing to throw things out when there's not enough evidence. However, that article is frustratingly short on detail about how they concluded Tsolekile was left out of the team based on systemic racism and how they concluded De Villiers tried to "ensure that a black player was not placed in a position which he deemed as requiring greater experience," or why that's the "only reasonable conclusion". What's the deal there?

But anyhoo. Thread has been started. Let the games begin, folks... this should be fun :)


International Vice-Captain
The keeper accusation holds no wait for me tbh unless there’s other evidence they haven’t shared. AB was in the middle of his peak as a batsmen and had been keeping in ODI’s regularly for 5 years without it effecting his performance at all, perfectly reasonable choice, particularly post-Gilchrist.

Boucher is clearly in the wrong, he should’ve just apologised and said he regretted his actions without going on about “post-Apartheid team dynamics”.

Since I don’t follow ODI cricket really at all and I’m unfamiliar with the exact situation that led up to what happened I’m not gonna comment, aside from that I’m not shocked if AB didn’t follow proper procedure to get what he wanted (regardless of if it was based on discrimination). Guy has always been a dick

Tom Flint

International Debutant
Sounds like a load of rubbish. And most of those players looked well out of their depth even when they did play and are lucky to have got the caps they did.


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Article is kinda light on details, frustratingly. All it mentions is AB kind of went up the chain of command to call up Elgar instead of zondo who was already in the squad. Not too sure what to make of it but seems unprofessional as hell tstl.


International 12th Man
Insisting on picking elgar who is not a white ball player ahead of someone who was already in the squad was always going to cause issues. It is obvious bias whether it's racial can be debated. AB has never been able to provide a proper defence for it.

Boucher is just an idiot. You don't need training to known you don't call your team mate what he did.

Smith is the only one were I am on smith's side.


International Regular
Boucher is inexcusable, not sure about the keeper situation, AB clearly abused his power and important parts of the process to bring Elgar, who was a friend in but the idea of racism being at play is absurd.

Elgar had and has better Whiteball stats as a batsmen and was a far more reliable 6th bowler which SA needed in light of injuries that had occured in the tour. Only thing that could really be in zondo's favour was the fact that he outperformed Elgar in the A-series prior to the tour (better average, better Sr), but Elgar bowled more overs, actually took wickets and was far more economic. The role being filled was a #7 all-rounder in place if Morris, and for that one game Elgar's bowling and career stats made him preferred. Abuse of protocol to bring him In but he was the better player, drawing racism as the only possible conclusion is shortsighted and sets a dangerous precedent.


Whatever it takes!!!
Yeah I think AB was more guilty of favoritism than racism, although I can see why its easy to assume the latter without looking at it in detail. Boucher definitely has questions to answer. /Burgey.


International Vice-Captain
Thanks for this, helps a lot. The Adams/Boucher thing is clearly just awful ****. However I’m surprised apparently Adams only mentioned a single other player in his submission based on him saying it was a team song… Were there only 2 players singing it? Anyway I’m surprised he doesn’t out the others, not that it excludes Boucher at all from his actions.

The de Villiers case I’m still not sure about. The ODI in question was a decider and Elgar definitely had International experience with the Test side and was a clearly superior batsman to Zondo in domestic one dayers (both have been bad in ODI’s). Its possible that AB did just want Elgar for the international experience and superior batting, or that there was some discrimination from him. Unless he has a prior history with that, I don’t think you can conclusively say he was being racist. However the way he lobbied for him was a big contravention of the selection policies and probably influences their conclusion.

On the Smith one, the person who testified (a selector at the time) specifically stated he went to Smith basically to ask him to interfere similarly to what AB would do later and Smith said “at the end of the day I will get the team from the convenor (of selectors), and at the moment the panel says this is the starting XI, and I will go through with that”. Theres clearly no evidence of Smith doing anything wrong. The selectors choice itself could be questioned I guess but as I said, post-Gilchrist batting has become a huge factor in picking a keeper and AB and later de Kock were both clearly superior batsmen to Tsolekile. The selector who gave testimony even mentions this **** in his statement. This whole thing just seems like why don’t we have a go at Smith?


Hall of Fame Member
What is the Boucher to Adams slur even meant to be? Not trolling, I just can't figure out what the B or S stands for

His defence of it, whatever it is, is very weak


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Wouldn't be surprising at all if he was the target of comments and such but the "left out of the team" part is bull****. From what I remember it was the opposite, he was only selected in the squad ahead of others because of quota. Correct me if I'm wrong SA brahs but the way I inferred it was if not for his race he wouldn't have been around the squad in the first place, in the position to be left out of the team.


International Captain
Yeah the more I read into this, the more Boucher's continued presence seems increasingly untenable

Tsolekile is a convicted match fixer though so I have no sympathy for him whatsoever


Cricketer Of The Year
Wouldn't be surprising at all if he was the target of comments and such but the "left out of the team" part is bull****. From what I remember it was the opposite, he was only selected in the squad ahead of others because of quota. Correct me if I'm wrong SA brahs but the way I inferred it was if not for his race he wouldn't have been around the squad in the first place, in the position to be left out of the team.
I could be wrong also but yeah Zondo when selected wasn't much fanfare as he had dull numbers. I think they put little thought in it and picked him as he had been around a bit and has some connections, but they never really considered having to play him and when it came to the crunch they decided he wasn't good enough.

I don't think this was racism, but stupidity, surely they could have found a black player who they trusted to play?

To play devil's advocate though, I do remember the Elgar incident and thinking they will regret not picking Zondo because their will be a fallout.

The Boucher stuff? Grotesque.


Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
The issue with zondo one is. He was in the odi squad and elgar wasn't. You can't go dragging people from the test squad to play odi's. It shows clear bias. It can be debated whether it's racial bias but there is clear bias from AB.
Is it bias to just want the best team? If you think there's a better player there but outside the squad and you want to play them I can see why that decision would be made. Definitely looks very suspect on the surface of it for sure given they picked Zondo in the squad and overlooked him, but maybe the biggest error was picking him in the squad in the first place if he wasn't good enough.