Dad in court over son's axing

2013-05-13 11:03
Cricket (File)
Pietermaritzburg - A Pietermaritzburg father has gone to court to have his son reinstated as captain of his high school cricket team.

Legal documents were served on St Charles College and its headmaster, Allen van Blerk, last week.

The Grade 12 pupil, who is 17, cannot be identified as he is a minor.

The school has two weeks to respond in the high court in Pietermaritzburg.

Earlier correspondence given to The Witness shows the school stripped the boy of the first XI captaincy - and demoted him to the second team - following a string of bad individual performances.

But the father believes racism is behind the decision and in supporting documents says coach Dave Karlsen “feels uncomfortable with an Indian boy as the captain”.

The father says the principal’s finding that his son was in poor form, scoring 0, 0, 2, 0, 0 and 4 in his last six innings, was nonsense.

“No mention is made of why it was that (my son) was selected to be captain in the first team around the end of 2012... It does not make sense how the panel would select (him) as a captain and then drop (him) as captain based on the same results.”

The child’s performance had been below par for most of the year.

The father now wants an order from court forcing the school to convene an internal hearing to resolve the dispute.

He also wants the reasons to be made known for whatever the outcome of the meeting will be.

And in the meantime, he wants his son reinstated as captain.

According to the father’s affidavit, his son excelled as a sportsman in his early years at the school.

He captained the Under-13 school preparatory and Under-16 cricket teams before gaining promotion to the first team in 2011.

He also played for the KZN Inland Cricket team.

The papers state that at the end of the third term last year, Karlsen informed the teenager, in the presence of head of cricket at St Charles, Bruce Roberts, that the pupil was to be the “first team captain for the year 2013”.

The father said Karlsen congratulated him and his wife in a written report confirming his son’s selection.

Towards the end of 2012, the pupil captained the first team against Voortrekker High School, which saw them triumph under his leadership.

During the holidays, the team took part in a warm-up tour. The pupil was asked to step aside and allow another boy to captain the team. He refused.

Then, says the father’s affidavit, on the second day of the new school year, the boy was apparently called to the coach’s office and told a panel had decided to drop him as captain and relegate him to the second team.

The son has since refused to play.

In correspondence with the father in February, Van Blerk said poor performance was behind his demotion.

Van Blerk said the pupil had battled to score runs for some time.

According to the school’s statistics, from January 2012 to January 2013, his average over 22 innings' was 12 runs.

He wrote to the father, suggesting his son try to regain his form and prove himself in the second team.

Van Blerk has apparently stood firm and refused to yield to the father’s demands.

Approached for comment last week, the school said it had referred the court papers to its attorney.

Van Blerk declined to comment on the “pros and cons of the action”.

He said the school “regrets that action of this nature has been taken” and would “let the law take its course”. 

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  cricket

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