Union backs South Africa's players
South Africa Cricketers' Association chief executive Tony Irish has responded to claims that some members of the national team could be sanctioned and perhaps even sacked on their return from Bangladesh by saying they are "groundless"
Away from the storm: South Africa's players relax in their hotel pool in Bangladesh
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South Africa Cricketers' Association chief executive Tony Irish has responded to claims that some members of the national team could be sanctioned and perhaps even sacked on their return from Bangladesh by saying they are "groundless".
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport chairman, Butana Komphela, said on Tuesday that alleged talk of a strike amongst the national players in protest at president Norman Arendse's interference in the selection of the squad amounted to "a mutiny against the president".
"You should sack them, fire them - meet them at the airport and tear their contracts up," Komphela told Arendse and Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola. "It is a mutiny and it is not acceptable."
Irish responded yesterday on behalf of the national players saying: "There is no basis for any disciplinary action against any of the players. SACA made an internal complaint against the president for the public statements he about the team before they left and we will wait for that to be processed in due course."
Arendse was quoted in Sondag newspaper as saying that the players "they love money too much. Moreover, the majority of blacks are waiting for them to strike, because if they did it would be difficult to come back in politically."
Irish said that, although the references to money had upset the national players, that was not their greatest concern. "Far more upsetting to the players was the divisive references to race and politics. They are a team playing with a common purpose and to be referred to as anything else was matter they wanted addressed."
Neil Manthorp is a South African broadcaster and journalist, and head of the MWP Sport agency