South African cricketer Herschelle Gibbs, whose autobiography 'To the Point' has irked fellow players and administrators, is about to get a taste of his own medicine when a book by former Proteas coach Mickey Arthur hits the stores on Monday.
Writing about the night before a match against Bangladesh in 2008, Arthur in his book 'Taking the Mickey' said that Gibbs had "attached himself to the hotel bar a little earlier than was polite – certainly for an international sportsman." He says, "He took too much fuel on board, at indecent haste by all accounts, and became involved in a series of embarrassing altercations. The hotel management had attempted, unsuccessfully, to encourage him to leave, and reported to calling (captain) Graeme Smith and (assistant coach) Vinnie Barnes for assistance."
Hersch was apparently making inappropriate comments about the attire and attractiveness of the wives accompanying a group of businessmen attending a function in Sandton. "It may sound humorous, but it was offensive." Arthur said that they allowed Gibbs to play the game the next day, but sat him down immediately afterwards to lay down the law.
"Team Manager Doc Moosajee and I took (Gibbs) into the gym under the Wanderers changing room and told him that his time was up. "There were no more warnings, fines or reprimands left for him. Doc explained that he needed to undergo a full rehabilitation course – not a token 'tea and biscuits' session, but a full alcohol addiction programme.
This meant he would play no cricket for five or six weeks. Naturally, it was a massive shock to his system. "But it didn't sink in until Doc announced the decision to the world at a press conference the next day. It was an extremely hard thing to do, but the relief we felt told us it was the right thing to do."
Arthur also related how it was made very clear to Gibbs that he would never be selected again if he did not comply. "He was angry and resentful about being discharged from the squad and sent home, but he had very little to argue against. He returned to Cape Town and spent two or three days incommunicado.
"But finally, in consultation with his agent Donne Commins and others close to him, he made the decision to book himself into a programme." Gibbs is currently under fire and facing possible legal action from CSA and former teammates for his revelations of sex orgies and drink and drugs binges on tour in his book, which sold out in just a week amidst huge international media interest.