Indian father sues school cricket coach for alleged bias
Durban: A South African lawyer has sued his son`s school cricket coach for R2.1 million, alleging that his son was not allowed to become the captain of any age group sides till he was playing in under-15 category because of his Indian origin.
Pranesh Indrajith served legal papers on Dave Karlsen, the coach of the first X1 team at St. Charles College, an elite private school here, claiming that the coach had deliberately hampered his son`s cricket career by not letting him captain any side from the time he was under 15.
The son, who is now 17, is not named because of South African law protecting children under 18.
Indrajith accused Karlsen of being "uncomfortable with an Indian boy as captain".
"You have, ever since my son`s entry into high school, negatively interfered in his captaincy of the school cricket team and also ensured that he does not captain the provincial side," Indrajith said in his papers.
Karlsen allegedly apologised to the 17-year old when he was finally selected captain of the first team at the school last year for not allowing him to captain the sides in other age groups before that.
Karlsen declined to comment, citing advice form his lawyers, but the principal of the school, Allen van Blerk denied that racism of any sort played a role in selection of players.
Van Blerk said all players were selected on merit and the school would continue doing so, with the school`s position facing vindication in the courts.
This was after the pupil claimed that he had been sidelined because he was of Indian origin.
The KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket Union has declined to comment on the matter, with claims that its president, Yunus Bhamjee, had debarred all parties in the matter except the school principal, Indrajith and Karlsen from commenting.