'Embarrassed to call myself South African' - Kallis
Jacques Kallis, the former South Africa allrounder, has said he is "embarrassed" to call himself South African, following the ban on four of the country's sports federations from hosting or bidding for major tournaments. On Monday, South Africa's sports minister Fikile Mbalula meted out the punishment to the national cricket, rugby, netball and athletics unions as a response to their failure to meet transformation targets. Kallis tweeted his response, decrying politics in sport.
"So sad that i find myself embarrassed to call myself a South African so often these days #no place for politics in sport," Kallis posted in response to News24's report of Mbalula's actions.
Later, Kallis tweeted again, stressing that his outrage was only directed at politics seeping into sports.*
Comment y'day was re political bullying NOT anti Transformation. 40 underprivileged boys had or having education paid for by JK Foundation— Jacques Kallis (@jacqueskallis75) April 26, 2016
Dale Steyn simply retweeted a link to the story while Pat Symcox wondered how "swimming and golf escaped the sports ban".
The answer to Symcox's question is that CSA and its counterparts in rugby, football, netball and atheltics formed a "big five" coalition of federations who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the sports ministry last year. The exact details of the MOU have not been made public but broadly, it underlines each code's commitment to change and meeting certain transformation targets.
The unions' progress in meeting those targets is assessed in an annual transformation report compiled by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), an independent, ministerially appointed task team of which former CSA acting president Willie Basson is part. The EPG found that only football among the five sports bodies met its transformation targets.
In national-team terms, Basson explained the goal was to have 60% of the team comprised of players of colour, which includes black African, mixed-race and Indian players. Cricket came in at 55%. The ministry also looks specifically at the black African component of national teams. There, cricket managed only 9%.
Since the end of the 2015 World Cup, South Africa have fielded at least one black African player in all but one match - an ODI against England in Bloemfontein in February. Most often, that player has been Kagiso Rabada, with Aaron Phangiso, Eddie Leie and Temba Bavuma also featuring.
The EPG report also took into account the number of coaches of colour at all levels in the sport and the composition of each sport's administrative make-up. Its conclusion was that the pace of transformation remained too slow.
The ban will be reviewed after the next annual report in the 2016-17 cycle and so, South African cricket is unlikely to be seriously affected. It is not due to host a senior ICC tournament until at least 2023 but is in line to stage the Under-19 World Cup in 2020. South African rugby is worst affected by the decision, as the sanction would affect it's ability to bid for the 2023 World Cup.
*16.00GMT, April 27: Jacques Kallis' second tweet was added into the article.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent