Momentum One Day Cup 2015-16 February 18, 2016

Leie injury prompts Lions, CSA to bend quota rules


An injury to Eddie Leie forced the Lions to field Rassie van der Dussen and go against CSA's quota rules © Caribbean Premier League

CSA bent their quota rules after a last-minute injury to a black African player meant the Lions could not meet the stipulated guidelines that compel every franchise to field at least six players of colour, of whom three must be black African, in every XI.

Legspinner Eddie Leie, one of the Lions' three black Africans, was ruled out after sustaining a niggle during the warm-ups ahead of their match against the Titans in Centurion. The Lions had only travelled with 12 players, and their reserve was Rassie van der Dussen, an opening batsman who is white.

The Lions had to contact CSA to explain van der Dussen's inclusion before naming him in the team. "We cleared it with all the relevant CSA officials and they had full understanding for the situation," a Lions' insider told ESPNcricinfo.

Had CSA not given their permission, Lions' coach Geoffrey Toyana. who is black African, was ready to make a comeback to fulfill the selection criteria. Toyana, also a batsman, has not played competitively since his retirement in 2011 but has 84 first-class matches and 71 List A games to his name.

As luck would have it, Toyana did make an appearance when his team lost bowler Carmi le Roux to a hamstring niggle. Toyana fielded until the Lions were able to get a replacement from the spectator's banks. William Wentzel, a student at the Sport School of Excellence Academy in Pretoria, was watching the match with his friends when they were approached to provide their best fielder. Wentzel, who is white, wore Leie's kit while on the field.

In a rain-affected game, the Lions had the Titans 240 for 6 after 35 overs and were 74 for 1 after 10.1 overs in their reply when no further play was possible.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gueye on February 20, 2016, 15:12 GMT

    Quotas are not "positive" when they are enforcing racial discrimination and profiling in the selection of national teams. The example of Basil D'Oliveira is a good one, but so is Kevin Pietersen - "good enough to play international cricket, he went on to represent England. The reason, racial exclusion."

    Transformation is hugely important in SA, not just in sport either, but there's no point 'colouring' over the cracks at the top when the problem goes much deeper. You're not solving the problem, you're cheapening the brand of SA cricket, and diminishing the merits of players who do get selected - or do you really think Kagiso Rabada is a 'quota player'? These players are humans, not numbers.

    Development and investment needs to be emphasised at government school level - giving the millions of under privileged kids better access to quality education and sports facilities so they have a fair chance of becoming good cricketers. That is the best way for lasting sustainable transformation.

  • chris on February 19, 2016, 13:00 GMT

    @Sydwell - The fair opportunities you ask for should start at grassroots level. And then why use race as the deciding factor? Surely it should rather be a case of poor kids being given the same opportunities as rich kids, regardless of the colour of their skin. Unless kids go to a good cricketing school and can afford proper gear their chances of making it as pro cricketers are virtually zilch no matter what ethnicity they are. I am also deeply uncomfortable with the idea of racial discrimination being redressed by racial discrimination. You make an example of Basil De Oliviera and everybody would agree that it is heartbreaking for a cricketer to have had to go to another country to fulfill his potential because he was prevented by the colour of his skin to do so in his own country. I just wonder how many white South Africans youngsters will have to do the same in the future. But hey, let's keep repeating the mistakes of the past, why not. An eye for an eye until everybody is blind..

  • Sydwell on February 19, 2016, 11:56 GMT

    @HAPPYDOG I beg to differ on this. The lack of understanding of Quotas and law is to blame. The Lions are to blame. I remind you that Basil De Oliveira was a player widely considered good enough to play international cricket, he went on to represent England. The reason, racial exclusion. The current system aims to address such unfairness and only those who do not want to understand the necessity continue to vilify Quotas. All the current players in the SA team deserve to be there, including the black "quotas" players. If people are given fair opportunities, only then will they show their potential to be great or productive sportsmen. Quotas can be seen as positive if all of us embrace them and media start reporting responsibly.

  • Tony on February 19, 2016, 11:11 GMT

    @Sydwell.Magocoba - of course Qouta`s is to blame, they should never be there in the first place ! Apartheid ended ages ago. Surely players want to strive to be like there Hero`s not matter what the colour of their skin is. Pick your best players and South African cricket wont regress and you will get more people interested in the game !

  • Sydwell on February 19, 2016, 10:19 GMT

    @CHRISMARX The operative work in the law you quoted is "unlawfully discriminate". This means, as Quotas are a part of South Africa's redress agenda, they are legal. Secondly, I think the Lions franchise are to blame for this NOT Quotas. I hope that this will be a lesson to them and others that you need to have a bigger reserves and include players of colour. Also, any application for a policy is dependent on availability of "fit" personnel. The media is again quick to blame CSA but do not hold franchises accountable. Also, before the new set of Quotas were introduced, players of colour were largely ignored. I remember that since early 2000s, Quotas were repealed in SA sports but no significant development took place in the time to 2014/15. The players were clearly there but never given a chance. It is all our responsibility to understand these challenges and also take such articles to task when they are clearly misleading.

  • Talha on February 19, 2016, 7:14 GMT

    Quotas systems is the beginning of the end for one of the best cricketing nation. imagine if england had to apply quota system. where no foreign born qualify to play for ECB.

  • chris on February 19, 2016, 6:59 GMT

    From the ICC's own rules of conduct:

    The ICC and all of its Members should: (a) not at any time offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage, vilify or unlawfully discriminate between persons based on their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, and/or national or ethnic origin ('Inappropriate Racist Conduct');

    So no discrimintaion based on race, colour or ethnic origin is allowed... I wonder how SA's quota system fits into this and how exactly the ICC justifies their approval of it.

  • Gueye on February 19, 2016, 6:34 GMT

    What an absolute farce! Seems the value of a provincial cricketer in South Africa lies no in his/her ability with the bat or ball, but only in his/her skin colour. Yes transformation is important and necessary, but this is clearly the wrong way to go about it.

    Yet Firdose will apparently always defend it.

  • chris on February 19, 2016, 6:33 GMT

    Isn't there an ICC law which prohibits its members from discriminating against players based on their race, religion etc?

  • werner on February 19, 2016, 5:04 GMT

    Since this ridiculous new quota system came into operation, I have not and will not go and watch any domestic crciket

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