KZN Cricket calls for balance in cricket race conversation

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The KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union has expressed its dismay at what it believes is an unbalanced and inflammatory report on the incident involving Hollywoodbets Dolphins player Robbie Frylinck and Aya Myoli, who was playing for the union at that time.

The News24 piece, penned by Sibusiso Mjikeliso, focuses on a 2016 disciplinary incident that occurred while the KZN Coastal team was playing Boland in a three day game in Paarl, and was the subject of a formal hearing process immediately after the incident.

“The incident was immediately addressed by then CEO Pete de Wet and was resolved to the satisfaction of all the parties concerned,” said Faeez Jaffer, who was president of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union at that time.

He stressed that the current coverage of the incident was disappointing as it fails to provide the full facts of the matter. “Let’s be clear, both parties were at fault here,” said Jaffer.

“The disciplinary process was very thorough and fair, and at the end of it, both players shook hands and agreed to move on amicably.

“As president of the union and as someone who has been involved with most of these players from junior age group level, I would never have tolerated a climate of racial tension in the team.

“It is always a charged environment when professional cricketers are playing. From the competition for places in the team to the stresses of playing matches, especially away from home, differences can occur. What is important is how it is handled.

“In this case it was critical to get to the bottom of it and ensure that the right resolution was found, for the team and for both individuals. In no way whatsoever was it swept under the carpet,” he added.

Frylinck said he was disappointed at the report, surprised at inaccuracies presented and the omission of facts central to the incident, but wanted to withhold any comment as he considers his options.

KwaZulu-Natal CEO Heinrich Strydom added that it remained a priority to nurture a team environment where differences are celebrated and that unity is allowed to thrive amongst players committed to serving the team, franchise or union.

“The atmosphere is particularly charged at the moment with the debate around Black Lives Matter. This is a very important debate, and it is important that it is addressed frankly and honestly.

“It seems that this particular story has fallen short in terms of presenting all the facts.

“The incident was addressed head-on, and in the end both players conceded their wrongdoing, shook hands and walked away, to share the change room for the remainder of the season.

“It saddens us particularly to have the story published on Mandela Day, where the focus is on reconciliation and nation-building,” he added.

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Photo: Robbie Frylinck. (Anesh Debiky/Hollywoodbets Dolphins)

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