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Black cricketers in South Africa tired of selection parameters

Modified 11 Nov 2015, 16:07 IST
Makhaya Ntini was the first black player to play for South Africa

A group of black players, ‘Black cricketers in unity’ sent a letter to Cricket South Africa (CSA), expressing their diappointment at the transformation policy. In this letter that was sent last week, the group members coveyed their concern regarding lack of opportunities for coloured players at national level.

The letter says how the black players are ‘sick and tired’ of failing to make into the playing XI despite of being picked for the national squad. “If we’re not ready for international cricket, stop picking us,” says the letter which ends with #DrinksCarriersMustFall.

Newspaper Die Burger reported that the black players are distressed and feel that they are being ‘used’ by the national team in an improper way. The players are weary of being used as ‘political pawns’ and ‘official water carriers.’ They have observed that they are not trusted with key roles.

It is believed that the decision to send this letter was finally taken during South Africa’s recent India tour. Though Khaya Zondo was already in their One Day International squad as batting cover, Proteas team management added Dean Elgar to their team as a cover for injured JP Duminy.

During selection of playing XI for the final ODI match against India, Elgar was again preferred over Zondo. Example of another black player Aaron Phangiso has also been used in the letter. Phangiso was the sole player in South Africa’s World Cup squad who did not play a single match. Bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe who has fine record in one-day cricket has been overlooked time and again.

Amongst other cases that the letter has communicated, is that of wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile. He used to be included in the nation’s national squad as a back-up wicketkeeper but when time came, AB de Villiers was always chosen to replace Mark Boucher.

CSA was suspended by International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1970 because of racial discrimination. Later, Cricket South Africa introduced a quota system to encourage the emergence of more black players. Makhaya Ntini was the first black player to play for South Africa’s national team and was hugely successful with 390 test wickets from 101 matches.

One of the players of this group told Die Burger that they simply want to convey their distress and discuss the matter with CSA. Haroon Lorgat, chief of the cricket board has said these concerns will be soon looked into.

Published 11 Nov 2015, 16:03 IST
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