Garnett Kruger has come out in support of Loots Bosmans claims that he was ill treated by Mickey Arthur and CSA.
Kruger, who played 3 ODI’s and a 20/20 international for the Protea, has recently taken up a Kolpak contract in England and turned his back on international cricket with South Africa. After opening batsman Bosman was withdrawn from the Proteas T20 squad on medical grounds he hit back at Arthur and CSA by insisitng that he was fit to play and accused Arthur of lying to him and the country. Bosman is due to face a disiplinary hearing soon and will be charged no doubt.
Kruger has come out in support of Bosman and says that black players are treated unfairly in the South African set up.
“The players are badly treated. They did it to me, they did it to Robin Peterson, and now they’re doing it to Loots Bosman,” Kruger told the Star,a Johannesburg newspaper. “We know it’s wrong but in the past we didn’t want to make a big fuss about it … I don’t want to keep quiet anymore. We’re tired of stuff being swept under the carpet.”
Clearly Kruger has been left dissilusioned by his short stint in international cricket, so much so that he became the first black player to take up the Kolpak option. Generally Kolpak has been taken by players who are older and dont think that they will feature in the international fold, such as Dale Benkenstein, Lance Klusner, and Martin van Jaarsveld, or players who for whatever reason feel that they will not be given a chance, such as young Lions talent Vaughn van Jaarsveld. Jaques Rudolph made himself unavailabe for South Africa by taking up a 3 year Kolpak contract with Yorkshire, but he has stated that he will return to South Africa as a better cricketer, the option was taken because he needed a break from international cricket, and wasnt enjoying his cricket, the constant pressure of playing for his place taking its toll. It has been white cricketers, stating quatas as a hinderence to their futures, who have taken the option. Kruger is the first case of a black cricketer taking the option and ruling himself out of international cricket.
Kruger claims, just like Bosman, he was lied to by Arthur.
“They’ve lied to Loots about his fitness, just like they lied to me in Australia about getting to play,” Kruger said. He said Arthur told him that his “chance would come” before the Test series on South Africa’s last tour to Australia.
“I had had a good domestic season, and I thought I was in with a chance of playing, especially as there were so many injuries, but they tell you you’ll get a chance, then you don’t, it’s all lies.”
In the first 4 domestic first class games of the 2003-2004 season Kruger took 18 wickets. He followed that up with some impressive performances for the SA “A” team. Yet despite being called up for tests squads against the West Indies, Australia and New Zealand, he was never picked.
Lots of guys get lots of chances, I didn’t get that. I was supposed to fly home after the Test series in Australia, then I was told to stay because of all the injuries. Then, when the matches came around, they picked a guy ahead of me who they had flown over.
“After a game in Hobart the coach said he would talk to me, but that didn’t happen then and it still hasn’t happened even now.
“When we got home for the return Test series, I was again picked in the squad. I didn’t play and then for the New Zealand series that followed they called me up for the first Test. I spent a day with the squad and was told I could go,” Kruger said. “They just keep messing you around and CSA can see that they’re messing people around but they don’t do anything.
“They should look into the matter. I don’t think they will do anything as they are in a nice comfort zone and they want everything to appear okay for the World Cup,” he said. “I still want to play for my country, I work hard in the nets, I go to gym and I want to do well for Gauteng but I think at the moment I won’t get that chance.”
Clearly Kruger feels slighted by the set up in South Africa and feels he deserved a fair chance to represent his country. His domestic performances certainly warrented it. While at the time it was felt that his desision to turn his back on his country had been a rash desision, clearly on this evidence it was made by a player who had had enough, who felt he had no other option. While South African cricket will no doubt ignore these reports as the gear up for the T20 World Cup and concentrate solely on that effort, there must come a time in the near future where these issues are addressed, or the country will continue to lose more of its talent cricketers.