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Durban official boycotts Warne visit
March 27, 2003 14:20 IST
Durban's deputy mayor boycotted a visit by disgraced Australian cricketer Shane Warne to the city, a South African newspaper said on Wednesday.
The Daily News led its front page with a report headlined 'Shameless Warne' in which the participation of the leg spinner in an event targeted at schoolchildren was questioned.
Warne was sent home before he was able to bowl a ball in the 2003 World Cup after testing positive for a banned substance found in a slimming agent he had taken.
Warne is back in South Africa for a tour of speaking engagements and promotional activities that were agreed before the drugs scandal broke.
He was due to address schoolchildren in Durban on Wednesday.
"I have a question over whether Warne is a suitable role model for our young people," deputy mayor Logie Naidoo told the paper explaining his decision not to attend the event.
"I suppose from a purely cricket development point of view he might be inspiring to children but, given the recent drugs debacle, I think there are many people who would have a problem with his visit."
Community activist Sulosh Pillay said Warne's appearance in the underprivileged suburb of Phoenix was insensitive to the challenges facing the community.
"We at Phoenix have our own problems with drugs and Warne cannot help us," the paper quoted Pillay as saying. "He should stay at home."
One of the organisers of Warne's visit was adamant the visit would be of value.
"I am very proud to be presenting Shane to my community," Julian Kisten told the paper.
"Shane Warne is one of the world's best cricketers but he has agreed to visit our community, an underprivileged community. We are not too small for him."
"The children will not see him as a bad role model. They will only see him for the great star he is."
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