The South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) is calling on the the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intervene, in their bid to get 19-year-old David Teeger reinstated as captain of the U19 Proteas Cricket World Cup team.
South Africa’s opening match of the tournament takes place in Potchefstroom on Friday against the West Indies.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) initially named Teeger as captain, but stripped him of the team’s national leadership ahead of the U-19 Cricket World Cup last week amid fears that there will be protests following his recent comments about the war in Israel and Gaza during an awards ceremony in Johannesburg.
The SAJBD met with CSA on Tuesday regarding the Teeger debacle. During a media briefing, the Jewish rights group said CSA “categorically failed” to provide credible evidence that there had been any real security threats to the upcoming U-19 World Cup tournament on account of Teeger being captain of the SA national cricket team.
SAJBD President, Zev Krengel, says the ICC needs to get involved in the Teeger saga.
“They’ve (ICC) said there’s no security threat. We have now exposed Cricket SA that there isn’t a security threat and security report. So there’s only two options here: pure antisemitism or there’s massive political interference through the ruling party being anti-Semitic.
“If the ICC doesn’t step in and take a firm stand on what’s going on, I think they’re going to land up as embarrassed as Cricket SA has landed up and got themselves in a into a very, very unpleasant situation in showing that discrimination and antisemitism is accepted in cricket in South Africa,” Krengel adds.
Teeger made headlines late last year after receiving the Rising Star Award at the ABSA Jewish Achiever Awards in Johannesburg.
“Yes, I’ve been given this award, and, yes, I’m now the Rising Star, but the true rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel,” Teeger told the SA Jewish Report on receiving his accolade in October.
Despite being stripped of the captaincy of the national team, Teeger remains part of the U-19 squad.
Krengel added that according to Teeger’s family, the outstanding cricketer is very “angry and upset”.
“I don’t think its where he wanted to be. He really just wants to be the best cricket player. If you look at pictures, it’s a very sad, painful face of someone who literally wants to play cricket. He’s got his team 100% behind him.”
“We call on CSA to immediately reinstate David Teeger to his position as captain of the SA u19 team. We further call on the international community to protest against this blatant act of anti-Semitic discrimination on the part of Cricket SA.”
Written by: Ntsako Mukhari