Former team-mate Paul Adams won’t testify against current Proteas head coach Mark Boucher during Cricket South Africa’s disciplinary hearing this month.
During last year’s social justice and nation-building (SJN) hearings, Adams alleged racial discrimination in the Proteas squad of the late 1990s and early 2000s. He said he was being nicknamed “brown s***” by team-mates at the time, including Boucher.
Adams has since insisted there was “no intention to single out Boucher” at the SJN hearings – and released a full statement on Sunday.
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‘Releasing this statement to set the record straight’
“There has recently been media attention about my presentation to the SJN last year. I am releasing this statement to set the record straight as I have not spoken about the matter to the public or media since,” said Adams.
“The purpose of the SJN was for players or coaches and others involved with CSA to have a platform to honestly speak out about their experiences over the years.
“I went to SJN with no malice, but with good intentions so that present and future players, irrespective of race, wouldn’t have to go through what I and other players did in those times.
“Also, to make people aware that there needs to be education and acknowledgement around racism and for us to have a greater respect for each other within our society in South Africa.
“In my testimony, I said that during my time in the national team, there was a culture within that environment that felt it was fine for a derogatory nickname given to me to be sung during fines meetings in the changing room by my fellow team-mates.”
‘Not at any stage did I mention any player’s name’
“I indicated, upon reflection and after discussing with my wife (my girlfriend at the time), that I felt humiliated by the song. Not at any stage did I mention any player’s name who may have initiated the song,” added Adams.
“The only time I confirmed a name was when the panel asked if I addressed Mark Boucher personally regarding the nickname and I replied that he was part of a broader group that sang the song and that I never addressed the matter within the team environment at the time. I was young and naïve at the time, trying to fit in and represent my country as best I could.
“Not at any stage did I go in there with the intention to single Mark Boucher out, as one can confirm by listening to my testimony in the YouTube clip from 39:20 till 46:30.”
‘Not my job or desire to find Boucher guilty or not guilty’
“It is not my job or desire to find Mark guilty or not guilty, and to be cross-examined and turned into the main focus of attention. Therefore I will not be testifying at Mark’s upcoming disciplinary hearing,” continued Adams.
“The feelings articulated by myself and a dozen other senior players and coaches last year will hopefully help CSA find a new way in making cricket a winning and binding game for all. Again, my wish is that the same environment that existed when we played, must never repeat itself.
“If changes are made and situations such as these are learnt from, then my purpose of telling my story at the SJN has been achieved.
“Thank you to everyone who has listened and for all the support during these difficult conversations.
“In conclusion, as has been my position from the start, I will not be taking any questions or interviews with regards to this matter out of the respect of the processes that SA cricket has embarked on and still need to conclude.”
Adams is currently head coach of Border in division two of South Africa’s domestic cricket.
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