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January 8, 2008
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has withdrawn Daryll Cullinan's accreditation as a television commentator for SuperSport for the ongoing series between South Africa and West Indies because of his involvement in the Indian Cricket League (ICL).
Cullinan, a former South African middle-order batsman, was coach of the Kolkata Tigers in the ICL, a league not recognised by cricket boards across the world. The board had complained to SuperSport about Cullinan's involvement as a commentator about a week ago, after the first Test at Port Elizabeth where Cullinan was part of the panel.
The board had already made its intentions clear by earlier banning all six South African players who participated in the tournament and board chairman Norman Arendse said similar action would be taken against even those involved in a coaching capacity.
"We accredit media representatives to report on official cricket," Arendse told the Times. "As a member of the International Cricket Council we felt it was entirely hypocritical to have a commentator who was effectively participating in rebel cricket."
Tex Texeira, the head of production with SuperSport, said a meeting would be arranged with the board to try and settle the issue. Texeira said that Cullinan had informed them of his decision to join the league - which ran from November 30 to December 16 - and Cullinan was made aware that there could be repercussions.
"We would like to be able to resolve the issue because Daryll is a top-class commentator," he said. "Daryll approached us and told us that he planned to go to India. We felt it wasn't the right thing to do. We have a strong relationship with CSA and the International Cricket Council, who are both opposed to the ICL.
"We therefore drew up a document stating that we were happy to let Daryll go to India but that should there be repercussions we had the right to terminate his contract with SuperSport."
Cullinan admitted that he would be up against the board though he was willing to wait and watch further developments. "I was aware that my going to India was a concern to SuperSport," Cullinan said. "I will wait and see what happens at the meeting between the two parties."
The third Test in Durban starts on Thursday.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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