David Teeger U19
David Teeger. Photo: X

Home » Political pressure denied in Teeger captaincy saga

Political pressure denied in Teeger captaincy saga

CSA’s decision to strip U19 captain David Teeger of the captaincy has been linked to political pressure, although this has since been denied.

15-01-24 10:43
David Teeger U19
David Teeger. Photo: X

In a hugely controversial decision, CSA confirmed that David Teeger will not captain SA U19 at the U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, having been relieved of the role for what they described as “safety” reasons.

This latest revelation comes after he received the Rising Star of the Absa Jewish Achiever Awards in November, and made the following statement: “Yes, I’ve been [given] this award, and yes, I’m now the Rising Star, but the true rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel,” he said.

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With Israel currently embroiled in a war against Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, Teeger’s comments sparked a complaint from the Palestine Solidarity Alliance.

CSA subsequently appointed an independent inquiry, which found that Teeger had not breached the CSA or Lions codes of conducts by making pro-Israel comments, but he has now been stripped of the captaincy after previously being named as the skipper of the SA U19 World Cup squad.

Cricket South Africa has since announced that Juan James will serve as the captaincy replacement on Sunday.

Some reports have suggested the decision to take the captaincy away from Teeger came not long after sports minister Zizi Kodwa had addressed the team on Monday and appeared to talk about Teeger’s situation without naming him, while there has been talk that political pressure played a role in the decision.

However, Kodwa has insisted the pressure had not come from the ministry.

“The Minister noted the statement by CSA on the South African Under 19 team captaincy,” Kodwa told News24 on Sunday. “The Minister does not interfere with the selection of national teams and captaincy.

“We allow federations and associations to run sport independently.”

This decision notably has made headlines across the world, with renowned English broadcaster and journalist Piers Morgan hitting out at CSA, tweeting: “WTF!? Have they sacked him because he’s Jewish? This is shameful moral cowardice by Cricket South Africa.”


“CSA has been receiving regular security and risk updates regarding the U19 World Cup,” read a statement on Friday. “We have been advised that protests related to the war in Gaza can be anticipated at the venues for the tournament.

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“We have also been advised that they are likely to focus on the position of the SA U19 captain, David Teeger, and that there is a risk that they could result in conflict or even violence, including between rival groups of protestors.

“CSA has a primary duty to safeguard the interests and safety of all those involved in the World Cup and must accordingly respect the expert advice of those responsible for the safety of participants and spectators.

“In all 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.

“David will remain an important and active member of the squad and we wish him and the team every success in the tournament. The newly appointed captain will be announced in due course.”


SA U19 are in Group B for the World Cup, alongside England, Scotland and the West Indies.

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