Former wristspinner Paul Adams will not be testifying against his former South African teammate Mark Boucher at Cricket South Africa’s disciplinary hearing from May 16 to 20 after findings of alleged racist behaviour on Boucher in the Social Justice and Nation-Building.
Boucher will be summoned at the hearing for charges of indifferential conduct as a player and now coach in the South African set-up. He will appear before Terry Motau, a senior counsel advocate, who will see through the final round of hearings on the matter and give necessary directives to CSA with Boucher’s retention as national head coach hanging on a thin rope.
During his submission of racism experienced within the national side at the SJN hearings last year, Adams had claimed he was mistreated on multiple occasions because of his colour by fellow South African players in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Things reached the lowest point when, Adams claimed, he was nicknamed “brown s*#@” by the white cricketers in the side. The left-arm wristspinner had named Boucher as one of the players who used to refer to him by that name, albeit in a team song. The 45-year-old, when asked for an immediate response to the allegation, had apologised for his misconduct.
So aghast was the CSA regime by the findings against Boucher that it widely criticised him and is now set to voice in favour of his removal as head coach, 18 months before his tenure as head coach is due to end with the 2023 World Cup in India.
However, in a potential savour for the ex wicketkeeper-batter, his ex-teammate has now decided not to testify further against him, saying it was never his desire to find out whether Boucher is guilty or not and he wouldn’t want to lead to his axing.
“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,”Adams said in his statement issued over his official Twitter handle.
Adams gave a mixed account of why he then named Boucher during his time with the SJN hearing committee. While deeming the team song and the nickname handed out to him “humiliating”, the 45-year-old said he never specifically mentioned who started the team song and who coined his nickname. And that he never intended to single out Boucher in the issue, although he was part of a “broader group” that sang the song and addressed him inappropriately.
“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.”
“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. Not at any stage did I go in there with the intention to single Mark Boucher out.”Adams said in his statement issued over his official Twitter handle.
Adams played 45 Tests and 24 ODIs for South Africa between 1995 to 2004, a lot of which came along with Boucher, who is himself regarded as one of the finest wicketkeeper-batters to have played the game. In all, Boucher represented the Proteas in 147 Tests, 295 ODIs and 25 T20Is.