South African cricket's governing body Cricket South Africa (CSA) has issued an apology to Proteas' batsman Herchelle Gibbs for announcing the termination of his contract while the case concerning it was still on-going.
CSA had issued a release on Friday saying that they had scrapped Gibbs' contract "by mutual agreement." But Gibbs' lawyer Peter Whelan has been waiting for the board's legal representative to contact him in order to talk about the matter. They have since met and Whelan confirmed that the contract has now been terminated. "Herschelle did a settlement with CSA, the terms of which are confidential. We can say that there was no bad faith from CSA. It was in everybody's interests."
It turns out that Gibbs was in fact guilty of breaching the terms of his contract with the CSA by way of getting a tell-all autobiography published. The book entitled "To the Point" made quite an impact in public circles, selling 15,000 copies in the first five days. In the literary piece, Gibbs claims of condemnation about the nation team, saying that it was run by a clique of senior players including Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. Gibbs had also mentioned that former team coach Mickey Arthur had been a pliant to the clique's wishes while also revealing details of sexual debauchery during the 1997-98 tour of Australia.
The CSA has asked its legal team to investigate the veracity of Gibb's claims, but the board stopped short of linking their findings with the termination of Gibb's contract. They insist that it is a sensitive and confidential matter and since now the case was closed, there would be no comments forthcoming.
Gibbs was one of 23 players whose contract extended till the end of the World Cup 2011. So there is much speculation that his international career is at an end, following the termination of his contract. However, the board insists that Gibbs' is still eligible for selection. Gibbs, for his part, has also stated that he would like to play in next years paramount tournament.
In the meantime, Gibbs is the recipient of some encouraging news. The CSA has issued him a no-objection certificate to play in the Twenty20 competition in New Zealand later this month. and sources indicate he is also interested in taking part in Australia's own domestic tournament, the Big Bash. Additionally, he is in talks with the local T20 team Cobras to play with them this summer.