Shamsi asserts Proteas are ‘stronger’ after culture camp dialogue

Shamsi Proteas

South Africa spinner Tabraiz Shamsi says that the Proteas group have come out of a week-long ‘culture camp’ stronger as a unit.

Shamsi also made it clear that the players wish to distance themselves from the leadership crisis at Cricket South Africa.

“There’s a big distinction between the Proteas team itself and CSA as a whole,” Shamsi told ESPNCricinfo.

“We know there’s a bit of turmoil in the administrative side of things and those are things that we cannot control. Those are things that are not for us to worry about because our job is to play cricket for the nation and win games and win trophies for the country.”

Culture camp called to plot a path away from divisive past

While Cricket South Africa seeks to address past wrongdoings with the appointment of a transformation ombudsman, the Proteas came together for a culture camp aimed at clearing the air and establishing understanding between members of the team from various racial backgrounds.

The grievances raised by past players necessitated that the current crop come together to ensure that the team is no longer divided along racial lines.

Shamsi said the camp allowed players to discuss their experiences and understand one another better.

“In the Proteas environment I have never experienced any racism,” Shamsi said. 

“Past players have spoken about things where stuff was not equal and even the players that did make it had to go through some sort of hurdles that they shouldn’t have experienced if there was a level playing field. 

“That’s the biggest thing we need to acknowledge and understand and ensure that kind of stuff is taken away from the system, that that kind of stuff won’t be tolerated and its not okay. But, as a whole, I’ve never experienced something like that from the players.”

Communication key for Proteas

Shamsi claims that the Proteas now realise that open lines of communication are key to team understanding.

“We realised there is a lot of strength in being able to communicate rather than assuming,” the left-arm wrist spinner added. 

“Once we understand things from the other person’s perspective, things become a lot clearer and a lot easier to understand where people are coming from.”

The Proteas hope that South Africa will be able to stage a full international summer but will need Cricket South Africa to sort themselves out and get government to sign off on the season.