South Africa’s Under-19 cricket team is undergoing a leadership change just a week before the ICC U-19 World Cup 2024, with David Teeger being removed as captain.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) made this decision due to concerns for his safety following comments in support of Israeli soldiers amid the ongoing conflict with Palestine. While Teeger remains part of the squad, a new captain will soon be announced.
CSA’s Precautionary Measure: CSA’s decision to replace Teeger aims to prevent potential conflicts or violence, particularly in the context of anticipated protests related to the war in Gaza. The move is described as being in the best interests of all players, the SA U-19 team, and Teeger himself.
Protests and Venue Considerations: CSA acknowledged the likelihood of protests at the tournament venues, focusing on Teeger’s position. The designated locations for the U-19 World Cup games include Potchefstroom, Benoni, Kimberley, and East London.
Safeguarding Players’ Safety: Emphasizing its primary duty to ensure safety, CSA stated, “CSA has a primary duty to ensure the safety of all those involved in the WC.”
Teeger’s Controversial Comments: Teeger’s removal comes after he made comments supporting Israeli soldiers, breaching CSA and Lions’ Cricket codes of conduct. He dedicated an award to the soldiers during the conflict with Palestine.
Clearance by CSA and PSA’s Response: Although Teeger was initially cleared by CSA, the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (PSA) lodged an official complaint. Despite the clearance, PSA argued that Teeger’s comments caused a significant rift within the cricket community and called for his suspension from the U-19 World Cup squad.
Teeger’s Role in U-19 World Cup: While Teeger retains his place in the U-19 World Cup squad, he will not lead the Proteas in the competition. PSA has vowed to protest during the tournament.
U-19 World Cup Details: South Africa hosts the U-19 World Cup, originally moved from Sri Lanka due to the ICC’s suspension of the SLC in November. The tournament begins on January 19, with the final scheduled for February 11. India enters as the defending champions.