Cricket South Africa condemns 'insensitive' journalist tweet


Cricket South Africa (CSA) has reacted angrily to a tweet from a journalist that focused on the race of two players who starred in Sunday's series-clinching one-day international triumph over England.

South Africa were previously exiled from international cricket for more than two decades due to the Apartheid policy, and CSA confirmed last year the existence of guidelines advising selectors to "consider, on merit, the selection of at least four players of colour in the starting XI."

There was a landmark moment in the second Test between South Africa and England at Newlands last month when Temba Bavuma became the first black African to make a Test hundred for the Proteas - an achievement celebrated by many.

Yet after Proteas skipper AB de Villiers and all-rounder David Wiese played integral roles in securing victory at the same venue in Sunday's fifth ODI, freelance journalist Dan Retief provoked condemnation with a reply to a fellow Twitter user.

Retief's tweet read: "SA carried to victory by two White Afrikaners...politicians and media commentators take note....for what it is worth."

In a statement on Monday, CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: "This is insensitive and extremely disappointing.

"AB de Villiers has conveyed to me the displeasure that this tweet has caused to the Proteas team.

"Anybody who understands the game of cricket and the Proteas in particular will know that yesterday's victory, and indeed the series victory, was made possible by a great team effort. We are privileged and very proud to have a diverse squad of players that play as one.

"Sport is our best unifying factor and on Sunday it was wonderful to see more than 19,000 diverse fans at Newlands and many more millions on TV enjoying some of the world's best players regardless of their origin or race.

"Mr Retief has since made an apology which CSA has noted."

Having seemingly been surprised by a number of angry responses to his initial tweet, Retief later posted: "Hi Guys, I deliberately set out to expose the racial undertones in our society and have been astonished at the reaction. Why the vitriol?"

However, he subsequently tweeted: "Hi All, I unreservedly apologize if i have upset you. It was a ham-handed way to enter the SA dissertation. We are all one people. Sorry."