The past few months have seen a series of unexpected revelations by cricket players. In July 2020, Makhaya Ntini made an interview in which he revealed controversial details about how difficult his experience in the South African cricket team has been and how he was alienated. Barely one month later, Thami Tsolekile, another cricket player, is on the headlines because of the allegations that he recently made about his experience.
Thami Tsolekile, a Proteas wicket keeper, is topping the headlines because of the allegations that he recently made about Graeme Smith, the former national captain. He is currently serving a 12-year ban from cricket because of the role that he played in a match-fixing scandal that took place in 2015. He recently came out to state that he wanted the Director of Cricket and the former national captain to apologise to him. Would you like to know more about the gist? If so, read on for more details.
Thami Tsolekile profile
- Full name: Thami Lungisa Tsolekile
- Date of birth: 9th October 1980
- Place of birth: Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa
- Nationality: South African
- Education: Pinelands High School.
- Career: Professional cricket player
- Batting: Right-handed
- Bowling: Right-arm off-spin
- Role: Wicket keeper
- Thami Tsolekile Twitter: @TTsolekile10
Thami Tsolekile biography
Thami Lungisa Tsolekile was born and raised in Cape Town. He developed a liking for cricket at a tender age, so he turned his passion into a career. He represented the country in three test matches. Apart from cricket, he also played hockey. His biography will elaborate on what is going on concerning his fate in the sport and why he is demanding an apology.
Thami Tsolekile age
He was born on 9th October 1980 in Cape Town. He will be turning forty years in October 2020.
READ ALSO: Ntini reveals his painful ‘racist experiences’ with the Proteas team
Thami Tsolekile stats
He kicked off his career in cricket during his teenage years. Between 1998 and 2004, he played for Western Province. He was a regular wicket keeper in the First-Class cricket. He also served as the captain of the Cape Cobras. During the 2009/10 season, he lost his position at the Cape Cobras, so he relocated to Johannesburg and joined the Highveld Lions. During the season, he boosted his First-Class score to 151 and scored his second First-Class century.
On 11th July 2012, he was among the players that were selected to play for the country's test squad against England. However, on 8th August 2016, his journey in the sport was faced by a hurdle. He was issued a 12-year ban from the sport. The ban was a result of the numerous match-fixing violations that he committed in the previous years.
READ ALSO: SA’s black cricketers speak out against racism and support Lungi Ngidi
The 12-year ban from cricket
On 6th August 2020, Thami appeared on an interview with Robert Marawa, where he revealed the details of the ban, claiming that some of the players were shielded. The ban was issued because of the role that he played in the 2015 T20 Ram Slam match. He was among the players who were implicated and banned from the game. However, he claimed that the match-fixing shielded some of the players like Robbie Frylinck and Vaughn van Jaarsveld from the sanctions.
However, Cricket South Africa came out to refute the claims and defend the integrity of the investigations that were conducted before the decision was made.
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Thami Tsolekile interview with Robert Marawa
On 13th August 2020, he featured in the Marawa Sport Worldwide interview for the third time within eight years, where he opened up about what he deemed as injustices when he played in the national cricket team. He also aimed a series of questions to Graeme Smith. He spoke about how the interview that Makhaya Ntini did influenced him to speak up about his grievances.
The height of his disservice was the experience that he had in England in 2012. He alleged to have been sidelined because of his racial background. He had nationally been recognised and contracted as the successor of Mark Boucher in 2012. However, when Boucher got injured in England, he was sidelined, and AB de Villiers was selected to be the Test wicket keeper. He referred to the incident as 'pure racism.'
Graeme Smith's response to the allegations
Smith denied the discriminating racial claims that Thami had levelled against him saying,
In the case of the 2012 tour to England, which Thami has alluded to, there was a whole panel of selectors. Thami was in the squad as reserve keeper to AB de Villiers, and this was communicated to him on both the England and Australian tours by Gary Kirsten, which has been previously acknowledged by Thami,
"It's a lie"
During the Thami Tsolekile interview with Robert Marawa podcast, the cricket player alluded that the details of the statement that Smith had issued were not true. He went further to state that the was disappointed with the excuses that he was giving. He stated that he would have appreciated it if he had apologised.
Disparities in the pay that he received
Thami also hinted about the amount of money that he earned, claiming that he only went home with a mere R25,000 while Smith bagged a whopping R400,000 per tour. He also revealed that he would fly back home from international tours alone.
He went further to express how much he had lost confidence in Graeme and how much he had divided the team members. He added that he was unsure whether he would return to play for the Proteas under his leadership.
Thami Tsolekile news
The allegations that the cricket player made have brewed controversy on social media. Mzansi has expressed concerns over the state of the cricket players of colour. Some netizens have pointed fingers at the government for not standing up for the citizens. These are some of the tweeps that were made regarding the matter:
Is racism the bug in the matter?
A section of the citizens is convinced that racism is taking its course in the matter.
Relating to Makhaya Ntini's issue
Others have chosen to relate to Makhaya Ntini's and Lungi Ngidi's incident and still find it difficult to believe Smith's response to the matter.
READ ALSO: Graeme Smith responds to race bias accusations within cricket
Briefly.co.za reported on 14th August 2020 about the response that Graeme Smith made. He responded to the racial claims through a lengthy post on social media.
Through a post on Instagram, Graeme Smith highlighted his experience as the captain of the Proteas team. He defended himself, stating that he did not have any contributions to financial matters. On the issue of black players being alienated and forced to travel alone, he stated that it was common as the tours were split into different formats.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think Graeme Smith sidelined Thami Tsolekile? Do you believe the allegations that the latter tabled? Feel free to express your comments about the issue.
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