Ex Zimb cricket chief drops race bombshell

Published: Monday, October 4, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Harare:Vincent Hogg, former chief executive of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, is to drop a bombshell into the International Cricket Council's investigation of racism within the sport here.

Hogg will inform the ICC's investigators, Indian solicitor-general Goolam Vahanvati and Justice Steven Majiedt, this week about several incidents involving black ZCU directors.

These were the main reasons he left the job two months ago after two and a half years, he told AFP on Monday.

"I am going to write to the adjudicators describing some of the things that were done and said to me during the dispute with the players," he said.

"For instance one director told me that whites have no right to be in the country at all -- and that was during a formal meeting.

"Some of the directors were totally out of order in this regard and it was extremely upsetting to have to listen to that sort of racist language."

He added: "I was hoping to give this evidence orally to the two adjudicators when they were here last week, but I did not get the chance."

The hearing had to be terminated by Goolam and Majiedt following a day of legal wrangling, when the players would not give evidence in front of three black ZCU directors and the directors said they would refuse to take part in proceedings unless they were allowed to be present.

The ZCU board is made up of four blacks, four whites and four Asians.

Hogg said he would have given evidence if he had had the opportunity.

"It wouldn't have bothered me who was listening."

Goolam and Majiedt said after terminating the hearings they were now forced to base their conclusions on written evidence only. Their findings will be presented to the ICC at a board meeting in Pakistan on October 16-17.

At one stage during the height of the player dispute, Hogg was angrily accused by a black director of colluding with groundsman Robin Brown to sabotage the pitch on which the replacement Zimbabwe team were playing Sri Lanka.

They were bowled out for a world record low score of 35.

He was also penned into his office on one occasion by black ZCU personnel demanding that more black players be included in a forthcoming match, even though the selection of teams had nothing to do with him.

"Some of the things said to me at that time were just terrible."

However, Hogg said he had no quarrel with the way the national selectors went about their job, nor their choice of players.

"In my view they did a good job," he said.

He is therefore at odds over that particular issue with former captain Heath Streak and the other sacked white players who objected to the selectors' choices, claiming some black players were being unfairly picked ahead of whites.

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