Ritchie set for legal tussle to resolve racist speech row

Sydney: Former Australian Test batsman Greg Ritchie has sent a letter of demand to the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) for terminating a contract for him to speak during the Adelaide Test and damaging his reputation.

There is now a very real chance this matter will have to go to the courts to be resolved and Cricket Australia (CA) is likely to be called to answer questions about its involvement.

Ritchie, who is represented by fellow former Test player Bruce Francis, has been shocked by the fallout from his apparent ban from speaking at Cricket Australia functions.

It is understood that in one day, through two phone calls, Ritchie lost bookings worth 28,000 pounds because of the issue.

SACA chief executive Keith Bradshaw confirmed on Tuesday Ritchie had made contact and said the SACA would seek to find an cordial conclusion to the matter.

“SACA confirms it is in receipt of a letter from Mr Ritchie that is now under consideration,” News.com.au quoted Bradshwo, as saying.

“Every effort will be made to ensure Mr Ritchie``s concerns are dealt with appropriately,” he added.

The saga started after a South African journalist, Telford Vice, described one of three speeches Ritchie gave in the time surrounding the Brisbane Test as ‘a racist rant’ because Ritchie retold an old anecdote from the 1980s involving Kepler Wessels, which involved the word ‘kaffir’.

It is a word considered derogatory to black people in South Africa, but is likely to have been more flippantly used 30 years ago.


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