South Africa news November 2, 2010

Cullinan hits out at Gibbs book claims

ESPNcricinfo staff

Daryll Cullinan, the former South Africa batsman, has denied exposing team-mates for smoking marijuana during the 2001 tour of the Caribbean following statements made by Herschelle Gibbs in his new autobiography.

In a separate development, Cricket South Africa (CSA) said it would comment on the issues arising from Gibbs' book only if its legal counsel, which was examining the matter, deemed it necessary.

Cullinan rejected claims that he betrayed Gibbs, Paul Adams, Roger Telemachus, Andre Nel, Justin Kemp and physiotherapist Craig Smith after it emerged they had smoked marijuana to celebrate the series win against West Indies in Antigua.

Cullinan wrote in his sport24 column that Graham Ford, the coach, had been informed by his wife who had smelt the drug while staying in an adjacent room and that he only found out from the coach and team manager, Goolam Raja. Cullinan felt the players should be sent home, but the captain Shaun Pollock didn't agree.

"She [Ford's wife] informed her husband who in turn informed Rajah. Rajah and Ford told me of this," Cullinan wrote. "En route from Kingston to Montego Bay, Ford approached me about the matter. I was of the opinion that the players should be sent home."

That account is entirely contradictory to the one offered in Gibbs' book, which recounts how Cullinan had an altercation with Telemachus, the former pace bowler, in Montego Bay. Gibbs alleges that during a break in a two-day tour match Telemachus and Cullinan became involved in a fight and that Telemachus pushed Cullinan into some chairs.

According to Gibbs, Cullinan was so "apoplectic with rage" that he stormed back to the hotel and Gibbs had to field in his place. Then, Gibbs claims, Cullinan told Rajah that he was "tired of this team" and that they had smoked marijuana.

"Gibbs alleges that there was physical contact during my altercation with Telemachus in the Montego Bay dressing room," Cullinan wrote. "For Gibbs to claim this is laughable as they were other players present. Telemachus, for the second time on the tour, verbally abused me after my strong reaction to his lack of changing room respect and decency. The first incident was in the Antiguan changing room after the series win."

Rajah called a meeting of senior players asking their advice, but Cullinan was also approached personally. Cullinan added that he warned Rajah that unless he let higher authorities know he would be "once again be fingered for his lack of control as a team manager."

Gibbs and Cullinan played together for six years from 1996 to 2002, but Gibbs admitted to having "never understood or liked" Cullinan and said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo that he had heard the Cullinan was unhappy with parts of his book.

Cullinan called the story "irresponsible and defamatory" made worse by the fact that he was still under a suspended sentance for his part in 2000 match-fixing scandal. "For a person like Gibbs to violate his existing suspension for a previous misdemeanour with drug taking was incomprehensible and smacked of someone who thought he was beyond reproach and the game."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Wanderer on November 3, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    @SurlyCynic, if it's a conspiracy theory that the British news media engages in rumours and hear'say then I'm Dermot Reeve. The Sun once again got exposed recently. Being the UK's highest read newspaper says it all.

  • rahul on November 3, 2010, 19:45 GMT

    How about you actually read the book and post some details on that. I am only interested in details/ confession Gibbs gives about his involvement in match fixing during Hansie days. Everything else is irrelevant.

  • Yasir on November 3, 2010, 18:45 GMT

    Wow, everybody discussing strangle, fight and discipline and there is no mention whether they took marijuana or not. Also if taking it was violation or not. It is that simple.

    Why are they arguing on who told captain or coach or manager, it they took it and if it is not right then they should have been punished accordingly. And if it was not a violation then there should not be any argument.

  • Gregory on November 3, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    Do you recall Pakistan`s 1993 tour of The Caribbean? The Pakistan 3 W`s was created: Wazim, Waqar and Weed. Of Course one can also make a case for The Weed Waqar. Many peaople enjoy it, just leave them be.

  • Allan on November 3, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    Do you guys have an editor! Look at all the mistakes that are there in this article!It isn't spelt 'sentance', it is 'sentence.' Also, the quote from Cullinan's quote has a typo error in Paragraph 8. It isn't "For Gibbs to claim this is laughable as they were other players present, it is "For Gibbs to claim this is laughable as there were other players present

  • des on November 3, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    Muhammad Mudassar Rana: The NOTW have no favourites when choosing targets, they go after anyone who could have anything to hide. Previous targets include members of the British Royal Family, Sven (when English manager), the head of the English FA, many British sportsmen, etc. Sorry if this doesn't back up your conspiracy theories.

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    Had gibbs been pakistani there would have already been a sting operation from the NOTW to catch them out!

  • Dru on November 3, 2010, 11:59 GMT

    All ugly this and rather unwanted. Gibbs is out of line raising insider information in public and forcing other to defend or attack. And yes I really cant see the issue of grown men celebrating a win with a puff of the local smoke!!

  • Mark on November 3, 2010, 10:06 GMT

    I would not read that much into all Gibbs' allegations. From what I have seen of the book, he has gone out of his way to be controversial (hey it sells books) and may be a bit pliable with the truth. His sexual exploits are well documented int he book as well, and he has painted himself as the stud of SA. I say read the book with a oinch of salt.

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    I can't think of a nicer way to celebrate a victory in such a beautiful and hospitable place than to sample the local ganja.

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