Daryll Cullinan is enraged with Herschelle Gibbs for claiming that he leaked the story of a marijuana-smoking session involving the South African opener and has described the controversial cricketer's statements in his autobiography as "highly irresponsible and defamatory."
Gibbs has accused Cullinan of informing the team management about a marijuana-smoking session in the West Indies in 2001 in his just-released autobiography 'To the Point'.
But Cullinan denied the charge in a guest column on the website sport24.co.za. "For too long the truth has not been told with regard to the dope smoking incident during the West Indies tour of 2001," Cullinan wrote as he detailed the chain of events that led to action against Gibbs by the then United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA).
"Team manager Goolam Rajah and coach Graham Ford, came to know of the players dope smoking the morning after the incident. Ford's wife had smelt the marijuana as their room was alongside the room where the smoking took place. She informed her husband who in turn informed Rajah. Rajah and Ford told me of this." Cullinan said at that time he was of the opinion that the offending players be sent home but the then captain Shaun Pollock was not in favour of this as it would "erode the team's chances of winning."
"I reminded (Rajah) that if this ever came out he would once again be fingered for his lack of control as team manager. I suggested that he, at least, put it on record with United Cricket board of South Africa," Cullinan recalled.
"It subsequently became media rumour that I had leaked the story whilst playing county cricket in England. The only person I shared the story with in confidence and privacy, was former coach and friend Bob Woolmer. No statement from the United Cricket board was forthcoming with regard to the above rumours.I eventually phoned (UCBSA President) Percy Sonn who confirmed that it was the UCBSA who had released the story and in his own words said, 'Daryll, we will rather take a slap for it now than later'," he said.
"The UCBSA eventually released an official statement that I in no way was guilty of divulging any information on the dope smoking incident to the team manager or media." Cullinan, who is now a commentator for a television channel, said he had to clear the matter up in the wake of Gibbs' allegations, even as he urged "future publishers, authors and sportsmen to show integrity and authenticity when recounting issues of such a controversy," with regard to Gibbs' autobiography.