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Back You are here: Home Sports Cricket Kwa Zulu Natal Cricket: Judges Rules No Legal Right To Meddle
Thursday, 30 January 2014 12:28

Cricket: Judges Rules No Legal Right To Meddle

Pietermaritzburg attorney Pranesh Indrajith, who resorted to the High Court in an attempt to have his son reinstated as the first team cricket captain at St Charles College, has lost his case last week after the judge ruled he had no legal right to meddle with the internal affairs of the school - and even if he did, he would not have found in the father's favour, says a report in The Mercury.

 cricket justice But it will serve as a caution to other parents considering litigating over similar issues, with Cricket South Africa agreeing the matter should never have reached the courts.

Niels Momberg, CSA youth manager, said he was “disappointed that a dad could go this far”.

“I would expect and hope in the future that these kinds of issues will be handled by the coaches, parents and schools, and resolved amicably. There are internal processes for this kind of thing.”


St Charles College principal Allen van Blerk issued a statement saying the judgment reinforced several critical pillars for independent education, including the right to pursue excellence and to preserve the educational nature of sport.

“It is always reassuring to find that sense prevails in the end and I am grateful for the excellent counsel we received and the tremendous moral support from friends within and outside South Africa.”

Pravishkar said he and his father were studying the judgment and would comment after a few days. No comment has yet been heard.

The dispute began early last year when Pavishkar was dropped from the team after being told the previous year, while he was in Grade 11, that he was to captain the first side.

Judge Vahed said Indrajith mounted a challenge which involved lengthy correspondence “inappropriately set out in turgid detail on his professional practice letterhead”.

In May, the present application was launched seeking the reinstatement of Pavishkar, pending the outcome of an internal inquiry at the school to “resolve the dispute”.


The school, in opposing the application, said the teenager had been dropped because he had lost form. The issue was one of “internal governance”, there was no alleged constitutional violation and the court had no power to intrude.

The matter was only finally argued in September, when even an immediate ruling would have had very little effect.

The judge took issue with Indrajith’s attempt to “blur the issue with racial overtones” with assertions that his son, an Indian, was dropped because the coaching team and majority of members of the team were white and that the panel which took the decision to drop him was not properly constituted.

“None of this was established or proved,” the judge said.

“While I am not disposed towards examining the decision to drop Pavishkar and whether or not it was a good one, if I were inclined to interrogate it, I am of the view that it was properly taken, following procedure.

“The facts revealed that (coach) Dave Karlsen believed there were good grounds. He consulted with principal (Allen van Blerk) and then followed procedure. The committee which ultimately took the decision met and the team sheet which reflected that decision was countersigned by all members of the committee.

“Interfering with that decision would be an intrusion into the private affairs of the school and would be educationally unsound,” he said, dismissing the application.

He ordered that Indrajith pay the school’s legal fees, including the cost of a senior advocate, but stopped short of awarding costs on a punitive scale in spite of Indrajith’s “unseemly attempt to turn the dispute into a race-based conflict”.

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