South African cricket tour of Bangladesh under threat

February 16th, 2008 - 1:32 am ICT by admin  

By Fakir Hassen
Johannesburg, Feb 8 (IANS) South Africa’s cricket tour of Bangladesh, which is scheduled to kick off Feb 22, is under threat following spats between coach Mickey Arthur and chairman of Cricket South Africa (CSA) Norman Arendse, according to the Afrikaans daily Beeld. Three unnamed players in the squad have reportedly threatened not to go to Bangladesh if the CSA proceeds with disciplinary action against Arthur, who has been at loggerheads with Arendse over the selection for the tour side.

Arendse said he had laid a charge at the CSA against Arthur of “disrespectful and abusive behaviour”, while Arthur confirmed that he had laid a counter charge against Arendse “because he was just as abusive to me as I was to him”.

The newspaper quoted CSA chief executive Gerald Majola as saying he was out office and not yet aware of any of the charges.

Majola said the whole issue of team selections could have been handled in a better manner.

“It is unfortunate that all the good work of the series triumphs this season is now being undone,” he said.

Arendse and Arthur are “like two express trains racing towards each other”, Beeld said of widely-reported disagreements between the two men, adding that it was becoming very clear that one of them would have to go as there was no room for both Arthur and Arendse in South African cricket.

The disagreement was sparked by claims that Arendse was interfering in the selection process and making demands related to the transformation plans of CSA that call for more players of previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa to be included in the national squad.

Although Arendse said in TV interviews that he was merely questioning the implementation of policy in this regard as the Bangladesh squad did not appear to meet the quotas of CSA, Arthur said that Arendse’s “continuing interference” in team choices had gone too far.

“What is his problem?” the coach told Beeld. “We have a good, established team and with the exception of one Test this season, we have played in every match with four players (from previously disadvantaged communities).

“I don’t know where Arendse got the idea that there have to be seven (such) players in the tour group. There were harsh words between us, and yes there is enmity between us. I told Arendse that he is power hungry and egotistic, but I did not swear at him.”

Arthur added: “The transformation policy that Arendse wants to implement does not exist. He is out of order to attack me over transformation. I have told him that he is not a selector and that he should keep his nose out of team selections.”

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