Kepler Wessels cleared of charges

A disciplinary committee cleared former South Africa cricket captain Kepler Wessels of accusations that he made racist remarks, news reports said.

The Eastern Province Cricket Board, for whom Wessels now coaches, said they had received a complaint from the predominantly mixed-race Gelvandale Cricket Club that he had referred to two of their players as "animals" at a net practice session in October.

Wessels, who led South Africa's return to international cricket after apartheid, angrily denied the accusation, accusing the board of a vendetta against him.

The United Cricket Board instructed Eastern Province to suspend Wessels on full pay pending the outcome of disciplinary hearing.

However, the disciplinary committee declined to press charges, citing a lack of evidence, the South Africa Press Association reported.

"I'm very happy with the outcome," Wessels was quoted as saying by SAPA. "I just want to put the matter behind me now and concentrate on winning matches."