Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Cricket | SA Team

Vernon Philander © Gallo Images

A matter of life and death



It was the famous Liverpool football manager, Bill Shankly, who is credited with the quote: “Football is not a matter of life and death – it’s more important than that.” Sometimes, however, the subject of life and death comes up in sport – for real.

Graeme Smith faced such a moment during his captain’s press conference before the second test match against Pakistan at Newlands in Cape Town on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of a brutal rape, mutilation and murder of a 17-year-old girl in the Western Cape, and the history of violent crime in the country, Vernon Philander ‘Tweeted’ on Wednesday morning for the death penalty to be brought back for rapists and murderers. It was hardly the sort of question the Proteas captain could have prepared for, but he answered it without pause or hesitation: Were issues like that discussed in the change room?

“I would think it does get discussed, yes. Grown men have opinions on different matters in life. We spend a lot of time together whether at dinner, having a drink or in the changing room. People have opinions in all walks of life,” Smith replied.

“Obviously Vernon will have to discuss that opinion with you. I think there has been a lot of campaigning around rape and murder and sorting out the crime in South Africa and, as role models, we want to play our part in putting that right. All of us know our responsibility,” Smith said.

Asked whether the team had limitations or guidelines on what players could Tweet about, Smith replied: “Regulations from ICC, or CSA, mean that obviously we can’t speak on DRS, or umpiring, but when it comes to guys’ opinions on life, their future and their family, and what they believe in the country, I don't see a problem with that.”



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Haze's Comment
An interesting bat comparison
My IPL commentary schedule has afforded me the opportunity to put my feet up for a few days in The...

Mpumelelo Mbangwa
World Cup form influencing IPL selection
A week has gone by since the start of this eighth edition of the IPL and it seems like business as...

Kepler Wessels
Time to prepare for T20
The next ICC event is only a few months away. The world T20 is the next world event on the schedule.

Faf du Plessis
Bring on the IPL!
Greetings from Chennai, India where I am back playing in the Indian Premier League