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‘I won’t testify at Boucher hearing, I spoke my truth,’ says Paul Adams

'Not at any stage did I go in there with the intention to single Mark Boucher out'

Former Proteas spinner Paul Adams.
Former Proteas spinner Paul Adams.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Paul Adams will not testify at former teammate Mark Boucher’s disciplinary hearing, which starts from May 16, the ex-Proteas spinner has said.

Adams testified at Cricket SA’s (CSA) Social Justice and Nation-building (SJN) hearings last year that he was referred to as “brown shit” in a song sung during Proteas' fines meetings.

Adams, who has not spoken publicly about his testimony, released a statement on Sunday.

“There has recently been media attention about my presentation to the SJN last year. I am releasing this statement to set the record straight as I have not spoken about the matter to the public or media since,” Adams said.

“The purpose of the SJN was for players or coaches and others involved with CSA to have a platform to honestly speak out about their experiences over the years.”

The ex-Protea said he went to the SJN “with no malice but with good intentions so that present and future players irrespective of race” would not have to go through what he and other players experienced.

The former spinner, who is now coaching at first-class level, said his testimony was “to make people aware that there needs to be education and acknowledgment around racism in SA cricket”.

“In my testimony, I said that during my time in the national team there was a culture within it that felt it was fine for a derogatory nickname given to me to be sung during fines meetings in the change room by my fellow teammates.”

Adams said, upon reflection and after a discussion with his wife (then girlfriend), he felt humiliated by the song.

“Not any stage did I mention any player's name who may have initiated the song.

“The only time I confirmed a name, was when the panel asked if I addressed Mark Boucher personally regarding the nickname and I replied that he was part of a broader group that sang the song and that I never addressed the matter within the team environment at the time.

“I was young and naive at the time, trying to fit in and represent my country as best I could.

“Not at any stage did I go in there with the intention to single Mark Boucher out as one can confirm by listening to my testimony from 39:20 to 46:30 on YouTube.”

“It is not my job or desire to find Mark Boucher guilty or not guilty, and to be cross-examined and turned into the main focus of attention. Therefore I will not be testifying at Mark Boucher’s upcoming disciplinary hearing.

“I spoke my truth and what happened to me as a young player, as per the process adopted by CSA on a serious issue in the game.

“The feelings articulated by myself and a dozen other senior players and coaches last year will hopefully help CSA find a new way in making cricket a winning and binding game for all.

“Again, my wish is that the same environment that existed when we played, must never repeat itself.

“If changes are made and situations such as these are learnt  from, then my purpose of telling my story at the SJN has been achieved.

“Thank you to everyone who has listened and for all the support during these difficult conversations.

“In conclusion, as has been my position from the start, I will not be taking any questions or interviews with regards to this matter out of the respect of the processes that SA cricket has embarked on and still need to conclude,” said Adams.


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