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Thatscricket - Wish your star

Published: Saturday, June 9, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Cape Town: Former South African national cricketer Pat Symcox has called the management of the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) "leaderless" and "without direction" after it gave defaulting cricketer Herschelle Gibbs what he believes is an "inadequate" punishment.Symcox told the Afrikaans daily 'Beeld' that the punishment meted out toGibbs was symptomatic of the state of cricket in South Africa. "I can't see how someone gets a suspended sentence, commits an offence, and then nothing happens," Symcox said.Gibbs had a one-year suspended sentence that was extended by another year on Thursday after a UCBSA disciplinary hearing. He was also required to undergo "mentorship and counseling in life skills necessary for a professional sportsman and role model," the disciplinary committee said."It's a shock for me. The UCBSA should probably take a long and hard look at the way it is managing cricket. Maybe more cricketers should be involved in the handling of the game," Symcox said.The UCBSA hearing was a result of Gibbs and five other members of theSouth African squad smoking marijuana in an Antigua hotel to celebrate a victory over the West Indies in a Test match. At the time Gibbs had only five days left of the suspended sentence that he received for an earlier misdemeanor.When structuring its categories of players and appropriate salaries theUCBSA should take into account that someone could be an excellent performer on the field, but his performance off the field may not be on the same level, Symcox said.UCBSA spokesmen could not be reached for comments on Symcox's views.Meanwhile, the UCBSA has announced that the South Africa 'A' tour to India, planned for September this year, has been postponed. But the SouthAfrica 'A' team will play against Kenya, India and Australia during the 2001-02 international season.In another development, Judge Edwin King confirmed he has handed over the final report of the King Commission on match-fixing to the Ministry of Sport and Recreation. The ministry will hand the report to President ThaboMbeki for his perusal and to authorise its release to the UCBSA and then to the public.This process could take some weeks, a spokesman said. The South African government had established the King Commission after former cricket captain Hansie Cronje admitted to having taken money and gifts from Indian and South African bookmakers last year.It led to his eventual life ban and suspensions of two teammates, HerschelleGibbs and Henry Williams. Cronje is currently appealing the life ban in high court.IANS

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