Australia v South Africa, first Test, Brisbane

Ritchie dumped from Adelaide Test gig

Brydon Coverdale in Brisbane

November 12, 2012

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Greg Ritchie has been dumped from a planned speaking engagement at the annual Adelaide Test match dinner after his offensive comments during a Gabba function on Friday.

Ritchie was due to take part in a discussion on fielding at the black-tie event in Adelaide on November 20 and on Sunday night, the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) indicated that his appearance would go ahead. However, the SACA chief executive Keith Bradshaw said that once the organisation became aware of Ritchie's speech and his lack of contrition, it revoked his invitation to appear at the function.

"Details about Greg Ritchie's comments at a Brisbane Test lunch were brought to SACA's attention on Sunday evening and subsequent comments made by him came to light early this morning," Bradshaw said. "Cricket Australia representatives in Brisbane contacted SACA early this morning to advise of the situation and immediate action was taken.

"SACA and Cricket Australia are proactively committed to their formal obligations to the ICC Anti-Racism Code and to the Australian Human Rights Commission's anti-racism campaign, of which cricket is a formal partner. SACA actively promotes details of the ICC code at all international cricket matches played at Adelaide Oval."

Cricket Australia's spokesman Peter Young said on Adelaide radio on Monday morning that both CA and the SACA agreed that Ritchie was not an appropriate guest speaker at the function.

"In the conversation that we had this morning, their view was that it's just not tenable for him to be part of that dinner given what they now understand to be the facts from Brisbane," Young said on ABC radio. "What we are doing today is sending a letter to all of the venues and also to all the state cricket associations reminding them of the Australian cricket commitment to the ICC anti-racism code."

After his Gabba speech was reported in South Africa's Sunday Times, Ritchie expressed little remorse and claimed that his comments had been taken out of context. Ritchie also defended an anti-Muslim joke that was part of the repertoire overheard at the Gabba on Friday and Young said Ritchie would not be welcome at official functions this summer.

"Effectively we are," Young said when asked if Cricket Australia was banning Ritchie. "We do not believe that it's appropriate for him to be speaking at international cricket events, particularly after not only the incident itself, but his follow-up comments."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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