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'Board didn't back players when racially abused in Australia'

Last updated on: July 11, 2020 17:08 IST
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Ashwell Prince reveals CSA did nothing when players were racially abused in Australia in 2005; former coach Mickey Arthur refutes claim.

Former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur has contradicted Ashwell Prince's statements claiming that the Proteas wanted to go back home after being racially abused during the 2005 Australia tour and were urged to continue playing regardless.

The incident Prince referred to occurred during the first Test of the 2005-6 tour in Perth. Prince, former pacer Makhaya Ntini and Garnett Kruger were among the players of colour in that South African team.

"We made a stand against it. The team management went to Cricket Australia, who put extra security on the boundary. From my recollection, the team was upset about it as a whole. I don't remember any player saying, 'let's just go back out there,' flippantly. It affected us massively as a team," ESPNCricinfo quoted Arthur as saying.

"There is absolutely no room for racism whatsoever. Having been at Pakistan and Sri Lanka, whatever race, colour, religion everybody is, everybody is together," the former South Africa coach added.

Former South Africa batsman Ashwell Prince said that the South African "system was broken" and that there has never been any unity for the decade while he was part of the national squad.Photograph: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Prince, said that the South African "system was broken", saying there has never been any unity for the decade while he was part of the national squad.

The 44-year-old, who played 66 Tests, 52 ODIs and one T20I for the Proteas, shared his views on the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of African-American George Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer.

"The system is broken and has been for some time in our beloved SA, both in society and in sport. We return from isolation and we say to the world, ‘look at us, we're back, oh, by the way, there's still no black people who can play the game, but we brought a few along’," Prince said in a tweet.

"Some Proteas fans might have been shocked and disappointed by what they've read on social media this week. Truth be told, well at least for the 10 years that I'd spent there, there had never been any UNITY! Australia 2005, a number of us encountered racist incidents on the boundary," he said in another tweet.

Prince also said that when the players told the leadership about the racial abuse they have been suffering, the reply was "it's only some people, not the majority".

"When we brought this to the attention of the leadership at lunch, we were told, ‘ah it's only some people in the crowd, not the majority, let's get back out there.’

“2007 WC semifinal 60/6 absolutely blown away by Aus, who's to blame, TRANSFORMATION. Absolutely zero ownership," Prince tweeted.


On Thursday, Cricket South Africa had issued a statement expressing their support for the Black Lives Matter campaign.

"Black Lives Matter. It is as simple as that. As a national sporting body representing more than 56 million South Africans and with the privileged position of owning a platform as large as we do, it is of vital importance that we use our voice to educate and listen to others on topics involving all forms of discrimination," CSA's acting CEO Jacques Faul said in an official statement.

Earlier this week, Lungi Ngidi called for the South African team to "make a stand like the rest of the world" over BLM.

While Cricket South Africa supported Ngidi's stand, it prompted criticism from former international players including Boeta Dippenaar and Pat Symcox.

On Wednesday, England and West Indies cricketers took a knee to show their solidarity against racism and support the 'Black Lives Matter' movement before the start of the first Test of the three-match series at the Ageas Bowl.

Prior to the three-match Test series, both England and West Indies had already announced that they would be sporting a 'Black Lives Matter' logo on their jerseys to show support with the anti-racism movement.

The 'Black Lives Matter' movement gained momentum following the death of an African-American man George Floyd in police custody in May. 

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