U-19 World Cup 2024: David Teeger, who backed Israeli soldiers amid Gaza conflict, removed as SA captain
David Teeger, the captain of the South Africa Under-19 cricket team, has been relieved of his leadership role just a week before the U-19 World Cup.
David Teeger has been stripped of his captaincy for the South Africa Under-19 cricket team just a week ahead of the World Cup due to concerns for his safety following his supportive comments about Israeli soldiers in the ongoing conflict with Palestine. Cricket South Africa made this decision in anticipation of potential protests during the tournament, fearing that they might escalate into conflicts or violence among opposing groups of protestors.
Cricket South Africa, in a statement, explained that the decision to remove Teeger as captain was made "in the best interests of all the players, the SA U-19 team, and David himself." Teeger will still be part of the squad as a player, and a new captain will be announced "in due course."
The tournament is scheduled to start on January 19, and Cricket South Africa expects protests at various venues, including Potchefstroom, Benoni, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, and East London. The decision to change Teeger's captaincy was influenced by concerns related to potential protests focusing on him.
Teeger's controversial comments, made during the ABSA Jewish Achiever Awards ceremony on October 22, 2023, where he dedicated an award to Israeli soldiers, sparked criticism. Although an independent adjudication found that Teeger had not violated any conduct, the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (PSA) expressed discontent and called for his suspension from the U-19 World Cup squad. The PSA plans to protest during the tournament, reflecting the heightened pro-Palestinian sentiment in South Africa following the country's recent action against Israel in the International Court of Justice.