The Proteas, the dope and the R5 000 fart

2010-11-01 09:18

Judged by the language used in his autobiography, To the Point, Herchelle Gibbs calls a spade a bloody spade.

Gibbs bluntly says a “pooh” brought the dagga smoking he took part in in 2001 in the West Indies, to light.

“If it wasn’t for that, the dagga-smoking incident would never have come out,” he said.

The Proteas were touring in the West Indies for the first time. On the fourth day of the fourth match in Antigua it was clear that the Proteas would win easily the next day – and with that take the tour.

Gibbs then suggested that they should celebrate the “meaningful occasion” properly.

And what would be better than the islands’ best dagga? A local Protea helper, aptly named Smokey, was then asked to get hold of the dagga.

He said “cool” and pitched up the next day with a big plastic bag. Gibbs quickly hid it in his cricket bag.

The test was won in no time.

Gibbs writes that players such as Neil McKenzie, who had been enthusiastic about the dagga the previous day, pulled out. But he, Paul Adams, André Nel, Justin Kemp, Roger Telemachus and the physiotherapist, Craig Smith, wanted to carry on with the plan.

Gibbs downed a few bourbons that night and then discreetly smoked “The Shit” in Smith’s single room.

That was his first and his last dagga experience, Gibbs writes. And he inhaled the smoke with gusto. He didn’t know where he was, and couldn’t stop laughing.

The group believed that the smoking was their secret. But two days later, during a two-day tournament in Montego Bay, there was vicious scuffle between Telemachus, a fast bowler, and batsman Daryll Cullinan.

The Proteas were in the changing room during a midday – or tea break when Telemachus loudly passed wind.

“Daryll totally lost his marbles. I mean, Roger just farted,” writes Gibbs. “It might have been loud, and long, and not pleasant to the nose. But everyone else laughed.

“Except for Daryll. Daryll is Daryll. I could never understand or like the guy.”

Then there was a confrontation and Telemachus pushed Cullinan against a bunch of chairs on a slippery floor.

Then Cullinan was really furious. “That’s it! F this – I’m not going back on the field.”

Gibbs writes that Cullinan went straight to Goolam Rajah, the Proteas’ manager.

He then complained about his team mates – and blurted out that some of them had been smoking dagga a few days earlier.

The Proteas were called in and it was requested that the guilty come forward.

“Daryll sold us out. He wanted to get back at Roger, but at the same time nailed us.”

Gibbs was fined R10?000 (he still had a suspended sentence due to his involvement in the previous year’s match fixing).

His “fellow smokers” were each fined R5?000.

“That must have been the most expensive wind that Roger ever passed,” writes Gibbs.

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