In a statement submitted to Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearings, Boucher responded to allegations of him participating in discriminatory talks within the South Africa squad during his playing days. Earlier last month, former South Africa Spinner Adams revealed last month that he had been called “brown s***” by Boucher & his teammates at meetings during his career.
“I apologize unreservedly for any offensive conduct, real or perceived, that has been attributed to me,” Boucher wrote in his affidavit. “We, the team, coaching staff, selectors and CSA, during the period in question, should have been more sensitive and created an environment where all members of the team could raise and talk about these issues without allowing them to fester, as they clearly have.”
Boucher said he would submit a supplementary affidavit in “due course” in which he would “deal with the specific allegations made against me”. He also requested that the follow-up submission be kept confidential so as not to become a “disparaging mud-slinging match which will inevitably detract from the objectives of the SJN”.
“I do not recall which ‘songs master’ initiated the song referred to by Mr. Adams, but I acknowledge that it has now become apparent from the testimony of former team-mates that some of what happened at these meetings was totally inappropriate, unacceptable, and in retrospect understandably offensive,” he wrote.
“While at the time we thought it was playful banter within a team environment in which we all participated as a normal part of team dynamics, I deeply regret and apologize for the part I played by joining in with my team-mates in singing offensive songs or using offensive nicknames.”
Though Mark Boucher admitted that the team’s culture was discriminatory, he argued the fact that there was a “clique” of senior players who were responsible for selection during his playing days. “When I first joined the South African cricket team, we were all naive and not equipped to know, understand or deal with some difficult issues and situations that confronted us,” he said.
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