Cricket South Africa(CSA) has removed former batsman HD Ackerman as the host of its annual awards ceremony. Confirming the news, CSA said the step was taken due to the recent comments made by Ackerman that he was emigrating to Australia in September. His replacement has not been announced yet.
“In view of certain negative comments on social media following HD’s Facebook post that he was leaving SA for Australia, we have decided to avoid any further potential negative comments around HD hosting the live CSA Awards. We decided to replace him and have no further comments to make in this regard,” CSA spokesperson Altaaf Kazi told Sport24.
On July 13 the 43-year old took to Facebook to announce his decision to move to Australia: “It is with a heavy heart that I have to let all my friends know that Kerryn, James, Tannah and I will be moving to Perth, Australia in September. It has caused many sleepless nights and even more tears but it is a decision that we have reached as a family and feel it is the best one we can make for our little ones at this time.”
“South Africa has so much potential, however in my entire life, I don’t think I have ever seen anything more common than something or someone fail to reach their potential. I fear this may be the case with my beautiful country. I truly hope that the decision we are making is the right one for us and I truly hope that South Africa does go on to reach its true potential and that crime decreases, corruption slows (as all countries have this problem) and an equal opportunity is there for all.”
On Thursday(July 14), Ackerman took to Facebook to express his disappointment after being axed from hosting the awards show.
“Wow, just been pulled off hosting the Cricket South Africa awards on the 26th because a few people on social media feel my move to Australia is because I’m racist. Forget the fact my wife’s sister had just moved to Brisbane and that my wife’s parents have just moved to Perth, or that I got a job offer in Perth that included a school bursary for my son, those reasons are not good enough. Wow, wow, wow.”
Ackerman is the fourth high-profile name in South African cricket to move to Australia or New Zealand in the last couple of months. The other three are-Dolphins chief executive Pete de Wet, national team logistics manager Riaan Muller, and Titans’ coach Rob Walter.