Cape Town - He is not a racist, but merely realistic about the current state of South African cricket, former Proteas batsman Daryll Cullinan says.
Cullinan has copped heavy criticism in the last week after an interview he did with cricket specialist website, ESPNcricinfo.
In the interview Cullinan talks about a variety of topics, from quotas to the Hansie Cronje match-fixing saga.
Cullinan also takes a dig at Cricket South Africa, who he believes is hastily trying to improve its transformation targets after neglecting the issue for years.
Cullinan was especially criticised for his comment that cricket was "inherently not a black man’s game” due to the popularity of soccer among the larger proportion of the country’s youth.
In an interview with Netwerk24, Cullinan defended himself, saying people should go and listen to the whole interview.
“It was a video interview and the text underneath (on the website) only summed up the interview. If people had watched and listened to the whole interview, they would have better understood the context of what I was saying.”
“I simply tried to highlight the challenges that cricket faces due to the effects of the apartheid years. I never said that black people can’t play cricket and did not play the game historically - the fact that it was only played by a select few years ago, does not make it a sport for the masses.
“It took many years before Afrikaners really started playing cricket - just like today there aren’t a lot of Indian people playing rugby...”
Cullinan stands by his statement that black kids cannot afford to get to cricket practices and matches because their mothers are often domestic workers who cannot afford taxi money.
“The costs associated with cricket is an enormous additional challenge standing in the way of transformation - it’s an expensive sport and out of reach of most families in South Africa," he said.
“I tried to illustrate the point by talking about a single mother who is a domestic worker. My comments were in no way meant to be negative or racist, but unfortunately most people did not understand what I tried to say.”