Herschelle Gibbs on alcohol rehabilitation course

November 7th, 2008 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Nov 7 (IANS) The international career of South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs could well be over after he was sent home by Cricket South Africa (CSA) for breaking a team curfew on the eve of Pro20 International against Bangladesh here.CSA said in a statement Thursday that Gibbs would “not take part in the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh which starts at Potchefstroom’s Senwes Park Friday”.

However, no details of the offence were given by the board. Team manager Mohammed Moosajee said Gibbs would be required to attend an alcohol rehabilitation course.

“Herschelle can rely on the full support of CSA to get his life back on an even keel again. He still has a lot to offer South African cricket and his many fans but this has to be done in line with team structures and disciplines.”

“We are not trying to punish Herschelle but rather to help him,” Moosajee said. “He has been under a lot of pressure lately, notably from the publicity surrounding his recent divorce. It is clear that he has developed a problem that needs to be addressed.

Meanwhile, South African coach Mickey Arthur said: “Herschelle’s behaviour is unacceptable in the context of team discipline.”

Gibbs though is tight-lipped on the issue and has requested the media to respect his privacy.

But the cricketer’s father, Herman Gibbs, said the punishment has come as a huge disappointment.

“Herschelles’s involvement in the one-day team was his only contact with the South African team. It is really a huge setback for his attempts to make it to the Australia tour (later this year),” Gibbs senior told the Afrikaans daily Beeld.

Herman said his son is frustrated after his failed marriage of just over a year which saw public spats during the divorce proceedings.

Gibbs’ contract with ESPN is also now under threat because CSA has insisted that he should undergo rehabilitation.

“I don’t know what will happen with his contract with ESPN. If he has to report for rehabilitation soon, it could clash with the tournament in India,” Herman said.

Gibbs has been the subject of controversy ever since he was first implicated in the 2000 match fixing scandal in India which saw the demise of then captain, Hansie Cronje and precipitated in an unprecedented crisis in international cricket. Gibbs was suspended for six months at the time, although he admitted he had reneged on his promise to hold back, scoring well in the Kanpur match.

Later in the same year, Gibbs was fined for spending time in an Australian nightclub in defiance of a curfew, an offence similar to the one he has now been suspended for.

There was also an incident in the West Indies in 2001 in which Gibbs was one of five South African players who smoked marijuana in their rooms.

After six fairly incident-free years, Gibbs was suspended for three games in 2007 after swearing at Pakistani supporters. Earlier this year, Gibbs spent a night in jail after he was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of liquor.

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