With just a week to go for the ICC Under-19 World Cup, David Teeger has been removed as the captain of South Africa Under-19, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have announced. The 18-year-old will, however, continue to be part of the squad.
The board is concerned that Teeger, who is Jewish, could come under attack during the World Cup, according to the intel they have received over possible protests during the tournament.
"As is the case with all such events, CSA has been receiving regular security and risk updates regarding the World Cup. We have been advised that protests related to the war in Gaza can be anticipated at the venues for the tournament," the CSA said in a release.
"We have also been advised that they are likely to focus on the position of the SA Under-19 (SA U19) captain, David Teeger and that there is a risk that they could result in conflict or even violence, including between rival groups of protestors.
"In all the circumstances, CSA has decided that David should be relieved of the captaincy for the tournament. This is in the best interests of all the players, the SA U19 team and David himself."
A new captain is expected to be appointed in due course.
Teeger was recently recognised with a “rising star” honour at a Jewish awards ceremony. Upon receiving the award, he said, "I’m now the rising star, but the true rising stars are the young soldiers in Israel.".
“And I’d like to dedicate it to the State of Israel and every single soldier fighting so that we can live and thrive in the Diaspora.”
His comments did not go down well with the local Palestine Solidarity Alliance, which filed a complaint with the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), which launched an investigation into Teeger, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
The ICC Under-19 World Cup was initially to be hosted by Sri Lanka, but they were banned from hosting or participating in ICC events due to political interference. As a result, the 16-team event was moved to South Africa.
South Africa will be in action on the tournament's opening day on January 19. They will take on West Indies at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom. Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein, will host the other match of the day between Ireland and the USA.