Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
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Cricket South Africa (CSA) have cancelled Herschelle Gibbs' national contract "by mutual agreement", the association announced on Friday. Gibbs was one of 23 players contracted to CSA for one-year ending in April 2011.
"He violated his contract on various grounds," a source with knowledge of the decision told ESPNcricinfo. "Most employment contracts have a clause that the employee may not criticise the employer and there are many occasions where he did that."
However, Gibbs' lawyer, Peter Whelan, suggested that the decision was not by mutual consent, saying he was still waiting "for CSA's lawyer to call me back so we can have a discussion".
Gibbs released a tell-all autobiography, To the Point, on November 1, which sold out its first print run of 15,000 copies in five days. His book disclosed details of sexual debauchery, particularly on the tour to Australia in 1997-98, allegations that the team was run by a clique of senior players that included Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers and that former national coach Mickey Arthur was controlled by this inner circle.
CSA asked their legal counsel to look into the allegations made in the book shortly after its release. They refused to comment at the time whether they thought Gibbs had breached his contract. Smith expressed his disappointment at Gibbs claims and Darryl Cullinan hit out at the assertion that he had blown the whistle on a group of team members who had smoked marijuana on the 2001 tour of the Caribbean. Gerald Majola, the CSA chief executive said that he had not read the book before the association asked for legal advice.
CSA would not be drawn on whether the content of Gibbs book has led to the cancellation of his contract. "Because of the sensitivity of the matter as well as the confidentiality agreements signed between the parties, the matter is now closed and there will be no further comments from the parties concerned," Majola said in a statement.
"It's actually a blessing in disguise for him [Gibbs] because he wants to go and play in the Australian Big Bash and the New Zealand Twenty-Over competition and he can make a lot of money there," the source said. "He will lose about R300,000 (US$ 42,857) from the cancellation of his contract but he willl make up twice that playing in leagues around the world."
Gibbs recently quit first-class cricket but plays in the limited-overs forms of the game He had expressed the desire to play in next year's World Cup, although he said that he didn't realistically see himself being selected.