South Africa in Australia 2008-09 December 13, 2008

End is near for racial quotas - Bacher

Cricinfo staff

Ali Bacher says it is disappointing Makhaya Ntini is the only "black African" in the Test team © Getty Images

Ali Bacher has said South Africa are almost at the "end of the road" of its racial transformation policy that was introduced in the 1990s to make the team more reflective of the country. With the current 15-man touring squad containing seven non-white players Bacher, the former chief executive of the South Africa board, told the Age the targets should still apply at the grass roots of sport, but would soon no longer be necessary at elite levels.

"We are arriving at a time when the best team will have players of colour in it, and whether it is three or four or six to me is immaterial," Bacher said. "I think it is on its way out."

Makhaya Ntini, Ashwell Prince and Hashim Amla are expected to be part of the Test team in Wednesday's opening match against Australia in Perth while Robin Peterson, JP Duminy, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Monde Zondeki are also in the squad. "I think we are nearly at the end of the road here [with the policy]," Bacher said. "It served its purpose.

"In the late '90s I drove it vigorously and was subject to a lot of criticism by white people because of it. It was the right thing to do and I would do it all over again."

However, Ntini's presence in the side has not led to a huge influx of players from disadvantaged backgrounds. "At the moment on merit there is only one black African in the team and that is a disappointment," Bacher said.