Cricket row to be handled internally

The row over selection issues that has erupted between Proteas coach Mickey Arthur and Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Norman Arendse is to be handled internally.

CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said on Friday that the CSA had formal human-resource procedures for dealing with disputes.

”This matter will be dealt with in this forum and a statement will be issued at the appropriate time,” said Majola.

”It is regretted that these disputes have been aired in the public domain, particularly on the eve of an important touring season for the Proteas.”

The dispute between Arendse and Arthur has caused a delay in the announcement of the team to tour Bangladesh. The Proteas are scheduled to leave for Bangladesh on Wednesday, for a two-Test, three one-day international (ODI) tour.

The team was to have been announced on Monday or Tuesday but is now unlikely to be made known before several players, including Neil McKenzie, Dale Steyn, Justin Ontong and Andre Nel have undergone fitness tests on Monday.

The row is reported to have erupted during a telephone conference call between Arendse and the selection committee. Arendse is reported to have been unhappy with the racial composition of the team selected, saying there had not been enough commitment to transformation.

He and Arthur apparently became involved in a heated argument, after which Arendse said he was laying a charge of ”disrespectful and abusive behaviour” against Arthur, whom he also accused of not complying with CSA’s transformation policy.

Arthur responded by saying that if Arendse laid a complaint against him with CSA, he would bring a counter-charge against Arendse.

”He treated me with disrespect and abused me as much as I may have abused him,” said Arthur. ”I have no problem with transformation, but it should be remembered that seven players of colour in a squad of 14 is a target, not a policy.”

The latest row comes ahead of a tough touring programme for the South African cricket team. They return to South Africa for less than a week before leaving for a three-Test tour of India. In June, the Proteas embark on a three-month tour of England and at the end of the year, they travel to Australia. — Sapa

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