My comments about the way the Proteas team is selected were misunderstood, as I only want to see South African cricket survive and flourish.
I was disappointed to hear about the allegations made against me during the England Test series. I supposedly made some remarks that were detrimental to CSA, speaking out against transformation and the way the Proteas side has been picked.
I was tasked with the special honour of ringing the bell on day four of the first Test at Lord’s, and my only interaction with the media during my trip to the UK was a 20-minute piece with Jonathan Agnew on BBC Talk Sport. There was nothing abusive or critical in this interview, I only had praise for CSA. I’m concerned about how those comments surfaced, because it led to me being accused of being racist. I know transformation needs to happen, I love South African cricket and I just want to see it survive and flourish.
I was concerned and depressed about what happened, because I’m not a racist and I’ve been completely misconstrued. I didn’t even get any calls from anybody to confirm those comments. If I’m ever critical, it’s because I’m a South African cricket fanatic and I want to see it survive. I know South African cricket is going through a tough time politically, but I’m not against transformation. A lot of good players are coming through, and the administrators are doing their best to allow the system to be successful.
I turned down plenty of offers in England and Australia to play cricket there throughout my career, because all I wanted to do was play cricket in this country, and I have no intention of leaving it.
Now on to the Bangladesh Test series that’s coming up. The England Test series was obviously very disappointing, and there were some very inconsistent performances in the Proteas’ batting order. This isn’t a time to make radical changes, however – it’s a chance for the same bunch of guys to get an extended run in the team and build up some consistency.
The England series was a good one for Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma, but the batsmen were generally very inconsistent. You can’t go into a Test series in England without two established, out-and-out openers. Unfortunately Heino Kuhn had to make his debut in the harshest of circumstances, against the experienced pace pair of Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
He didn’t perform, but perhaps he deserves a go in slightly friendlier conditions at home to Bangladesh. As for the middle order, I would give someone like David Miller a go, who has performed for SA A, and knows what it means to play for the Proteas. Theunis de Bruyn, though, has been placed up and down the order, and deserves a chance to settle in one position, so it would be unfair on him if he wasn’t given another chance.