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‘No truth in Graeme rumours’

Calcutta: Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Saturday dismissed rumours circulating on social media that Graeme Smith had threatened to resign if Thami Tsolikile was selected for the ongoing Test series against India.

In a statement released on Saturday, CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said: “There is no truth at all to these malicious and damaging comments.”

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula also dismissed the rumours. “CSA would like to quash rumours and comments floating around social media platforms suggesting that Castle Lager Proteas captain, Graeme Smith, threatened to quit if Thami Tsolikile was selected for the present Test series against India,” the statement said.

“All procedures and protocols were followed in the selection of the squad and the playing XI and were signed by myself and transformation manager, Max Jordaan. As per CSA’s selection policy, the captain is not involved in selection,” he said.

Mbalula said the comments were made by “malicious people” bent on derailing the process of transforming sport in South Africa.

“Cricket, like all sporting codes in the country, is working towards a transformative agenda. We have already stated that in 2014 we will release the work of the Eminent Persons Group on transformation. We will, not be side-tracked by malicious people.