Free Press Journal

Zimbabwe slap ban on Vermeulen over racist slur



Harare: Zimbabwe’s controversial batsman Mark Vermeulen has been banned from all forms of cricket activities after being found guilty of making ‘repulsive remarks that reflect racism, prejudice and plain ignorance’. The 36-year-old had posted the comments in July as a response to an article posted on Facebook about fellow teammate Prosper Utseya’s letter to Zimbabwe Cricket, which alleged that existence of racism in the country’s cricket.

Vermeulen made an offensive remark to describe black Zimbabweans but immediately deleted his comments. However, a screenshot of the post was later circulated. The ZC board said in a statement that they found Vermeulen’s Facebook comment distasteful and unacceptable, particularly for a senior sportsman who should have learnt from playing in Zimbabwe and abroad that there is no place for racism in sport, ESPNcricinfo reported.

Vermeulen, who has played nine tests and 43 one-day internationals, has had a controversial career. He was acquitted of charges of arson in 2008 on the grounds of mental illness and was also banned by the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2006 from playing cricket in the country over an altercation with a local spectator.