Cricket South Africa is reportedly involved in a legal battle with Karen Smithies as a result of homophobic slurs directed at the former England Women’s captain after she was interviewed for the role of team manager of the Proteas Women.
On Saturday the Times reported that Smithies had filed legal papers.
‘According to a member of the four-strong panel Smithies, 52, was unsuitable because of the risk she posed “getting into some darling-darling relationship with one of the players”,’ read part of the piece in the Times.
Smithies’ interview was apparently conducted via conference call with Smith, CSA high-performance manager Vincent Barnes, Edward Khoza and Chantel Moon.
However, it has subsequently been confirmed to SACricketmag.com that while Smith was indeed part of the interview panel, he left the meeting at the same time as Smithies and was not present for the latter part of the discussion.
Her sexuality was, however, reportedly discussed after her interview, as the recording continued.
The content was ultimately leaked to Smithies, who then made contact with the former Proteas skipper on Friday.
Smithies and Sedibu Mohlaba were the two candidates for the role with the latter officially offered the position as a result.
Upon request, CSA was not willing to provide any comments to this website while the ‘legal matter is ongoing’.
Smithies has been working as a team administrator at the Titans in Pretoria and been involved with South African cricket for 20 years.
A further portion of the report in the Times reads as follows: ‘In the panel’s post-interview discussions, the sexuality of Smithies was raised when Moon asked her colleagues whether they were aware that Smithies is “bisexual or lesbian”. Khoza responded by saying that Smithies “is in a life partnership with a previous South African women’s captain”. Moon concluded that this would be an issue as it would add “a different dynamic”. Another of Smith’s colleagues described Smithies as a “Pommy” and said: “It would not be right to employ a white Pom instead of a black African male.”’