JOHANNESBURG: Ranked number one in the world right now, South African batsman Hashim Amla's debut in the ODI team got delayed due to race politics triggered by Loots Bosman's allegations of discrimination, reveals former coach Mickey Arthur.
Arthur, in his book 'Taking the Mickey', wrote how he was forced to play Bosman in the team in place of Amla after the former alleged racial discrimination.
Arthur writes Bosman levelled serious allegations against him after he was dropped from the One-day International squad for England in 2009.
The episode resulted in Cricket South Africa administrators deciding to include Bosman as the 16th player for the series even as Arthur had already promised the next position to Amla.
"I had been working with Hashim Amla for a long time, preparing him as the 'next batsman' in line for the ODI team, and specifically as the next opener. The move to promote Loots so suddenly and without any input from me was destructive in the extreme." he wrote.
"So much work and preparation had gone into Hashim's elevation to the ODI team, it all felt meaningless if the team was going to be selected from the President's Suite."
"Hash (Amla) was far better technically, and had the ability to score freely and quickly in the first 15 overs of an ODI without taking risks," Arthur wrote.
The coach was called upon by the Convenor of Selectors, Mike Procter, and informed about the decision, which Arthur said left his relationship with him "strained."
Arthur writes, "I was left with the impression that that he was a little too happy to acquiesce to the nudges of the many people with agendas beyond the field of play."
The incident left me questioning whether I need to stay on in the position, "I was still passionate about making the Proteas the best in the world or rather keeping them there but the politics that came with the job was beginning to make life miserable. Despite the passion I had for the team, I began to accept that, perhaps, my time was over."
After serious altercations with the top executives of Cricket South Africa, Arthur eventually resigned early this year.
The Indian origin Amla recently dislodged his teammate A B de Villiers from the number one position in the ICC ODI rankings.