Proteas in Australia
'K-word' response pleases CSA
Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Tuesday thanked Cricket Australia (CA) for their rapid and effective response to deal with the speech made by one of their former players, Greg Ritchie, on the first day of the Brisbane Test at the Gabba.
According to the Times LIVE website
, Ritchie, a former Australian Test player, used the "K-word" word when he was the guest speaker at a lunch for members of the Brisbane Cricket Ground Trust last Friday - the opening day of the Test series between Australia and South Africa.
"Hey, Kepler, you're not going to call this lot kaffirs today, are you?" Ritchie said while relating an anecdote from the 1980s with former Australian and South African player Kepler Wessels
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Wessels said at the weekend that he did not know what Ritchie was referring to and was considering taking legal action against him.
Ritchie also delivered a slew of jokes in which Muslims were the victims of the punch line.
However, Cricket SA CEO Jacques Faul says the matter has been cleared after Cricket Australia made an apology.
“I had a long conversation with James Sutherland, CEO of CA,” Faul said on Tuesday. “He made a very full and sincere apology for what had happened which I appreciated. CSA is also very appreciative of the rapid and effective manner in which he dealt with the issue.
“I must stress that we take a very strong line on any kind of racist behaviour. It is one of the biggest evils in the world today and one that sport can play a major part in eradicating. It is a very sensitive and emotional issue for us, particularly taking our past history into account. Sport has been a big unifying force in our country and we cannot allow anything to happen that is going to undermine it.
“As far as Mr Ritchie is concerned there must be consequences for his behaviour, particularly as he further inflamed the matter when he was confronted over the contents of his speech. CSA will be investigating its options in this regard with the International Cricket Council as the game’s supreme authority.”
Ritchie refused to apologise, but has promised not to use it again.