Joint Letter to International Cricket Council

ADL, The Board of Deputies, and The Executive Council of Australian Jewry jointly wrote to the International Cricket Council to urge their intervention against Cricket South Africa for its anti-Jewish discrimination against a young Jewish cricket star.

Published: 01.21.2024

January 17, 2024

Mr. Geoff Allardice
Chief Executive Officer
International Cricket Council

Dear Mr. Allardice,

ADL is the leading anti-hate organisation in the world. Founded in 1913, its timeless mission is “to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.” The Board of Deputies of British Jews is the democratically elected representative of the British Jewish community. The Executive Council of Australian Jewry is the national organisation for representing Jews in Australia and the voice of the Australian Jewish Community. Each of our organisations is an international partner of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies in the fight against antisemitism and for the protection of the rights of Jews.

We write today to ask for your help to reverse the discriminatory decision by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to strip the Jewish South African player David Teeger of his captaincy of the Under 19 team, an action which we believe is highly likely to have breached the ICC Code of Conduct in its anti-Jewish discrimination.

CSA stated: “We have been advised that protests related to the war in Gaza can be anticipated at the venues for the tournament. We have also been advised that they are likely to focus on the position of the SA Under-19 captain David Teeger, and that there is a risk that they could result in conflict or even violence, including between rival groups of protestors. In the circumstances, CSA has decided that David should be relieved of the captaincy for the tournament. This is in the best interests of all the players, the SA U19 team and David himself.”

CSA nevertheless confirmed that, “David will remain an important and active member of the squad and we wish him and the team every success in the tournament.” Thus Mr. Teeger has only been demoted, most certainly as an anti-Israel political statement, and not prevented from participating in the tournament, as one might expect, had the so-call “security concerns” about his presence been legitimate concerns.

Furthermore, even if CSA’s decision were based solely on security concerns, the manner in which CSA balanced security interests with non-discrimination interests demonstrates CSA’s complete indifference to discrimination against the Jewish U19 captain. CSA’s statement gives no indication that enhanced security measures were even considered in order to protect Mr. Teeger’s ability to participate in the tournament among potentially hostile fans. As you know, tournament hosts and local law enforcement have a variety of security measures to address demonstrations and potential violence. To get to the truth of this matter, we respectfully urge you to demand a copy of the CSA security advice and to review it against ICC’s Tournament Safety Planning Framework to assess whether CSA’s action was legitimate or illegitimate. We also ask that your assessment be made public through an ICC statement.

CSA’s decision makes no sense from a security point of view. It makes perfect sense as an act of discrimination. Israel may be unpopular in South Africa, but the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism includes the example of holding non-Israeli Jews responsible for the actions of the State of Israel.

We hope, Mr. Allardice, that the ICC will act quickly and justly to right this wrong.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Greenblatt
ADL
CEO & National Director

Michael Wegier
Chief Executive
Board of Deputies of British Jews

Peter Wertheim
Co-Chief Executive Officer
Executive Council of Australian Jewry

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