South Africa's Global T20 league June 19, 2017

No transformation targets in Global T20 league

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Cricket South Africa has confirmed there will be no transformation targets in the Global T20 league. However, the board added that all eight franchise owners have been made mindful of its commitment to change.

CSA has a strict policy in the current domestic set-up which requires franchises to field six players of colour - including at least three black Africans - per game. The Global T20 league has been exempt from this stipulation, though it will still be expected to support the transformation agenda.

"We haven't got targets specifically but we've got the whole transformation philosophy in the prospectus," Haroon Lorgat, the CSA chief executive, said. "We asked the owners to be very mindful of what we're trying to drive as a key pillar within CSA. And in the seventh year we've got a review, which has got key performance indicators, and we reserve the right - in that seventh year - if they're not contributing along the lines of what we identify, and transformation is one of them, to cancel the licence."

The eight owners, six of them foreign, that have bought into the Global T20 league have been awarded licenses of 10 years each. They were among several bidders who had to present CSA with detailed ownership plans in line with the prospectus they had been given. That prospectus included an important commitment to development of the South African game, which Lorgat expanded on.

"One of the obligations that they've got is to adopt a hub," he said. "They've got to fund a hub. It's a commitment that they've got to make every year in their area. So that's eight hubs that will get picked up immediately. You're entitled to take more, but minimum one hub you've got to take. And if I think of some of the presentations or proposals we received, if they do what they're doing in their respective countries - if they repeat it here - they'll take on many more than one hub."

Hubs, which were established in 2014 alongside Regional Performance Centres, are aimed at previously disadvantaged communities and areas and seek to develop the game through qualified coaching and improved facilities. The hubs work with schools and clubs, provide equipment and a dedicated cricket programme. There are currently 63 hubs around the country and at least eight of them will benefit from the new T20 tournament.

Haroon Lorgat on transformation: 'We asked the owners to be very mindful of what we're trying to drive as a key pillar within CSA' © Getty Images

Lorgat believes the franchise owners - two from South Africa, two from India, two from Pakistan, one from Hong Kong and one from Dubai - are all committed to the board's cause. "In South Africa we're all about transforming the landscape, be it cricket or be it the economy, and they are very aware of that. It's amazing - in some of the very countries that these owners come from they're challenged with similar [issues] - it may not be a black-white transformation. But it's about developing and going into areas where they can grow the game. I've no doubt we're going to learn from some of them, just as much as they're going to be learning from what we're doing."

Lorgat singled out Javed Afridi and Fawad Rana, who run the Peshawar and Lahore franchises in the Pakistan Super League, as being particularly attuned to South Africa's needs. Afridi confirmed at the event where all the owners were announced that he would be extending the Zalmi foundation's activities to South Africa.

"What's probably more relevant is the kind of passion we saw from particularly the Pakistan owners," Lorgat said. "They're doing some phenomenal development in their respective franchises in Pakistan. They've committed to bringing a lot of that into South Africa. I can see a lot of cross-pollination coming that will aid the development of the game."

Still, the issue of the lack of targets will raise concerns that the players CSA has been trying to provide sustainable opportunities to at the top level could lose out. Lorgat said he was confident the players of colour in South Africa would do as well as any other players in the draft, which takes place on August 19, but he could not deny that quotas do not sit easily with the corporate world no matter how high its community priorities.

"These are business people," he said. "Cricket is what they're primarily going for but they look beyond that. Some of them have already engaged with mayors in a city and started to talk about development plans and programmes - more than cricket."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • john_bnsa on June 24, 2017, 10:48 GMT

    The question is why does it have to be from elîte schools. This shows that there's a class divide regardless of colour.

  • Slevin7 on June 24, 2017, 10:37 GMT

    John, to answer your question on how long it will take: It will take probably 12 years to get these disadvantaged kids through a system of proper coaching and access to equipment and facilities. We will have masses to choose from that have been exposed to a competitive cricket environment. Right now, the good players (of all colors) are by design from the elite schools. You don't 'implement' years of hard work.

  • john_bnsa on June 24, 2017, 10:15 GMT

    It may not be about transformation, but what an opportunity to implement it. It's a time to experiment. If quotas were implemented at all levels from 1994, a fully transformed team would have been ensured. In 23 years time, will quotas be an issue? Cricket must must not be seen as a game for the privileged, but accessible to all.

  • MariusRoodt on June 23, 2017, 9:30 GMT

    Vallem is right, this is not the platform for transformation. There are already quota targets in domestic cricket (which I agree with, with caveats) but, John, as I said in a previous comment, if you think it's appropriate to have transformation targets in this tournament, you are, at best, naive, and, at worst, ignorant.

  • vallemj on June 23, 2017, 6:27 GMT

    John this tournament is not about transformation it's about revenue, hence the private ownership. And unfortunately when attracting investors and supporters, nobody wants a quota team with average players, they want the best. Like I said, this is not a pity party for what happened in the past, this is sport. International investors should not be held liable or feel any pressure to transform the sport in South Africa. I will say it again, I've stopped attending domestic cricket because of the quota system, but I will certainly be attending these games, were I know I'm getting my money's worth.

  • john_bnsa on June 22, 2017, 10:32 GMT

    Marius your argument is flawed. The fact is it is CSA which has not done anything at grassroots level for the average person. For all the purists out there in terms of test cricket, this t20 event is a perfect oppurtunity to apply quotas as t20 is an easy event whereby hit an misses occur, a carnival like atmosphere to encourage people to entertain the crowd, a perfect place to experiment unlike test cricket. Revenue is more of a concern. How can you also equate the plight of Afrikaners wages to that of the masses under the previous regime? That's like chalk and cheese. The majority minority argument cannot work here as they were never denied in the first place by law. The point is that after 23 years the laws have changed but the pathways have not.

  • MariusRoodt on June 21, 2017, 15:25 GMT

    John, a good example is white Afrikaners. Afrikaners were rare in South African cricket sides before the '80s. Why? Cricket only started catching on amongst Afrikaners in the 1950s or so. Why? This is when SA cricket first started becoming fairly competitive and Afrikaners started getting interested in the game. The second reason is that the '50s is when Afrikaner incomes caught up to English incomes, meaning they could afford kit, coaching etc. like their English counterparts. It took thirty to forty years for this initial interest to filter through to the national team. In addition, Northern Transvaal and the Free State - Afrikaner teams - only became competitive in the late 1980s for similar reasons. And as much as you want the 'masses' to play high-level cricket, without access to coaching, facilities, and equipment this will remain a pipedream. What have you done to change this? How much coaching have you done? How much equipment have you donated to poor kids?

  • john_bnsa on June 21, 2017, 13:32 GMT

    The question is how long will grassroots quotas take to initiate results? It's already been 23 years since the start of a new South Africa yet, from a numbers point of view, representative national teams do not reflect the population rather reflect the wealth status and access to privilege regardless of colour. This t20 competition provides a limelight for the masses, as not many are interested in being test players in the modern age. How long must the masses wait, whist Elite private feeder schools form part of the system?

  • Slevin7 on June 20, 2017, 14:04 GMT

    Why aren't we hearing that part of the income will go to developing cricket in previously disadvantaged areas? Supporting schools/clubs with equipment and coaches and setting up viable leagues? Is there no motivation to tap into these kids at grass roots level, but only forcing it at the top? If the youth in those areas have these structures, it could change their lives in more ways than one.

  • MariusRoodt on June 20, 2017, 12:50 GMT

    John, do you think the franchise owners want to pay for Development XIs or pay for the best players in the world to play for them?

    Expecting quotas in this tournament is naive, at best, and ignorant, at worst.

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