Jewish Leadership Council calls on ECB to oppose decision to strip South Africa under-19 captain of title

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Jewish Leadership Council has criticised the decision made by Cricket South Africa to strip under-19 player David Teeger of his captaincy.

The JLC has written a letter to Richard Thompson, the chairperson of the England and Wales Cricket Board over what they call a “shameful” decision by CSA.

Teeger was due to lead South Africa’s under-19 side at the tournament, but was removed from his role, with the organisation looking to avoid protests around the tournament that could “result in conflict or even violence, including between rival groups of protestors”.

The youngster will remain a part of the squad as a player, but had reportedly dedicated an award he received in October to Jewish soldiers, who he described as the “true rising stars” amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

In the letter, the JLC says: “The decision was purportedly for his (Teeger’s) own safety citing security concerns. Jewish people around the world have been alarmed to see a rising Jewish sports star singled out in this way due to his identity.

“Yesterday- our colleagues at the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) met with CSA who failed to provide any evidence of security threats or explain why such threats would justify the singling out of a Jewish player for demotion. SAJBD concluded after the meeting that Teeger’s removal was “plain antisemitism”. At the time of rising antisemitism not just here but globally, this sends a signal to Jewish athletes that they may be singled out and discriminated against by their peers.

“As the tournament is due to begin in just a few days. I urge the ECB to speak out against the decision by the CSA and stand with Jewish people around the world against antisemitism. I also ask you to make your concerns directly known to the CSA and the ICC.”

The ECB declined to comment when approached by The Independent.