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Only 1 black African in WC squad unacceptable: CSA criticised

Source: PTI
May 15, 2024 17:17 IST
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IMAGE: Kagiso Rabada is the only black African picked for South Africa's T20 World Cup squad. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has been criticised for failing to meet "transformational targets" with only one black African in Kagiso Rabada part of the T20 World Cup squad.

The 15-man provisional squad includes six players of colour including Rabada.

 

Over the course of a season, six players of colour are required to be in the South Africa playing eleven including two from the black African community. With Rabada being the only black African in the squad, the national team is set to miss its target.

The other players of colour include Reeza Hendricks, Bjorn Fortuin, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi and Ottniel Baartman.

Former South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula questioned the make-up of the squad.

"Only 1 African player selected in the Proteas Team for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 Team. Definitely a reserval (reversal) of the gains of transformation and doesn't reflect fair representation of all South Africans in the national cricket team," Mbalula wrote on X.

On SABC Sport, former CSA and ICC president Ray Mali said the game is heading backwards in the country.

"I believe a lot has been achieved, but I believe we have gone backwards in terms of cricket – we have taken a step backwards instead of going forward," said Mali.

"I cannot understand why we can't have a (larger) number of black players in the South African cricket team at this day and age – no, it's not acceptable.

"We have betrayed the people who asked us to negotiate unity for this country. Players are mentored or monitored right from their early days up to the top, so you know which players will represent South Africa."

At the moment, CSA doesn't have a committee of selectors and the team is picked by head coaches Shukri Conrad (Tests) and Rob Walter (white-ball cricket).

Walter defended the 15-men picked for the ICC event in Americans next month, saying the domestic circuit did not have enough depth to pick a more diverse unit.

"The system needs to really up the ante so that in six months, 12 months, or two years' time, and in particular when we reach the 2027 [ODI] World Cup at home, that the demographics and the representation in our team starts to look a bit different," Walter was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Lungi Ngidi, also a black African, is one of the travelling reserves but doesn't feature in the main squad.

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