Paul Adams confirms he won't testify at Mark Boucher hearing: 'I spoke my truth'

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Mark Boucher. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)
Mark Boucher. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)
  • Former spinner Paul Adams has released a statement confirming that he will not testify at former team-mate and Proteas coach Mark Boucher's hearing.
  • Boucher is charged with the role he played in the alleged discrimination of Adams around 20 years ago, revealed at last year's Social Justice and National Building (SJN) hearings.
  • Adams says that he did not go into the SJN hearings with the intention to single out Boucher.

Former South African spinner Paul Adams has confirmed that he will not testify against ex-team-mate and Proteas coach Mark Boucher in his upcoming hearing.

At last year's Cricket South Africa's (CSA) Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings, Adams alleged that he had experienced instances of racial discrimination, including team-mates calling him "brown s***" in the late 1990s.

Adams then identified Boucher as one of the players who used the phrase, with the Proteas coach later apologising for his actions.

Boucher was then charged with "gross misconduct" by CSA, with his hearing set from 16-20 May.

Boucher, whose position as national coach is on the line, will defend himself on the charges while the organisation will be seeking his dismissal. 

Adams, who played 45 Tests for his country from 1995 to 2004, confirmed on Sunday saying that he did not intend to single out Boucher during the SJN hearings, and that he would not testify at Boucher's hearing.

"I went to SJN with no malice but with good intentions so that present and future players, irrespective of race, wouldn't have to go through what I and other players did in those times," said Adams in a statement released on Sunday.

"Also, to make people aware that there needs to be education and acknowledgement around racism and for us to have a greater respect for each other within our society in South Africa.

"In my testimony, I said that during my time in the national team, there was a culture within that environment that felt it was fine for a derogatory nickname given to me to be sung during fines meetings in the changing room by my fellow team-mates.

"I indicated, upon reflection and after discussing with my wife (my girlfriend at the time), that I felt humiliated by the song. Not at any stage did I mention any player's name who may have initiated the song.

"The only time I confirmed a name was when the panel asked if I addressed Mark Boucher personally regarding the nickname and I replied that he was part of a broader group that sang the song and that I never addressed the matter within the team environment at the time. I was young and naïve at the time, trying to fit in and represent my country as best I could.

"Not at any stage did I go in there with the intention to single Mark Boucher out, as one can confirm by listening to my testimony in the YouTube clip from 39:20 till 46:30."

Adams went on to say that he has no desire to prove Boucher guilty or not, and hopes that his truth and experiences can never be repeated again.

"It is not my job or desire to find Mark Boucher guilty or not guilty and to be cross-examined and turned into the main focus of attention. Therefore I will not be testifying at Mark Boucher's upcoming disciplinary hearing," continued Adams.

"I spoke my truth of what happened to me as a young player, as per the process adopted by CSA on a serious issue in the game. The feelings articulated by myself and three dozen other senior players and coaches last year will hopefully help CSA find a new way in making cricket a winning and binding game for all.

"Again, my wish is that the same environment that existed when we played must never repeat itself. If changes are made and situations such as these are learnt from, then my purpose of telling my story at the SJN has been achieved.

"Thank you to everyone who has listened and for all the support during these difficult conversations."

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