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CSA to appoint black African selector

Firdose Moonda

December 10, 2012

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A jubilant Makhaya Ntini after dismissing Ricky Ponting, South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Johannesburg, 1st day, February 26, 2009
Makhaya Ntini, the former South Africa fast bowler, is likely to be the frontrunner for the selection panel position © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Makhaya Ntini | Thami Tsolekile
Teams: South Africa

Cricket South Africa will soon - possibly as early as next year - appoint a black African selector in accordance with their transformation policy, in an attempt to better represent the country's demographics. South Africa's population is more than 80% black African but they are largely under-represented in cricket.

"We want to transform and reflect the demographic of our country as best as possible. A black African selector is needed to help address representation on all levels, which includes management," Jacques Faul, acting CSA chief executive told ESPNCricinfo.

He clarified that the move should not be seen as one which will push the case for black players only. "Just as white selectors don't only select white players, so would black selectors not only select black players," Faul said.

ESPNCricinfo understands that former fast bowler Makhaya Ntini is the frontrunner for the position, even after his criticism of the team make-up ahead of the Australia tour. Ntini was quoted saying reserve wicketkeeper Thami Tsolekile would have played for the national team if he was white, but Tsolekile brushed off the remarks. Despite being nationally contracted in February and identified as the replacement to Mark Boucher, Tsolekile has not played a Test because AB de Villiers has been promoted to the role of the permanent keeper.

In Perth, South Africa played their 200th Test since readmission but in that time, only five black Africans have represented the country. Of those, Ntini played 101 Tests but the other four: Mfuneko Ngam, Monde Zondeki, Tsolekile and Lonwabo Tsotsobe have less than 20 between them and South Africa have not fielded a single black African in Test cricket in the past year.

It is a record CSA wants to change. "I don't think people realise what a big gap Ntini left when he retired from international cricket. He was a great role model and obvious choice for the Test team," Faul said. "It is important for us to improve on this statistic. We hope that in the next 200 Tests we will be able to do that."

CSA does not enforce a quota system but state in their policy they intend to make cricket a "truly national game." They fund an academy at the University of Fort Hare which Ngam runs, exclusively for black African cricketers to further that aim. Ntini was due to start an academy in the Mdantsane township in the Eastern Cape for the same purpose but has not been able to secure sufficient funding to get the project off the ground.

Failed endeavours like that are what CSA hopes to avoid in future. Their transformation policy thus "recognises the fact that, although now all South Africans are equal under the constitution, serious inequalities still exist in terms of creating opportunities and providing facilities and adequate coaching for cricketers of colour. The transformation charter carries the responsibility of capacity building in all communities and thus making cricket a truly national game."

Faul said CSA are encouraged by the "black African talent within the franchise system." Players such as batsman Khaya Zondo from the Dolphins Temba Bavuma, left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso from the Lions and wicketkeeper batsman Mangaliso Mosehle from the Titans are on the national radar, with Phangiso likely to be picked in the Twenty20 squad to play New Zealand.

The new selector will not be in place in time to pick those squads, though. South Africa are expected to name their T20 and Test squad for the New Zealand series on Thursday.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Spelele on (December 12, 2012, 13:37 GMT)

The threshold should always be competence. If 2 players are competent to play for the Proteas and one is white and the other is black, then the black player should always be selected even if the white player is slightly better. This approach is an unfortunate consequence of apartheid and would at least solve things in the interim.

In the long term, SA should and will get rid of the above approach. But before that, some serious grassroots development needs to take place. The lack of black cricketers is not due to lack of interest in cricket amongst blacks as many here claim. It has everything to do with the socio-economic climate in SA at the moment which still favours whites. Until this is solved, the price to pay is going to be having a national team which is representative but not the best, or one which is unrepresentative but hypocritical.

Ntini is behind only Donald, Pollock and Steyn as one of our best bowlers since readmission, so those questioning his merits are clueless.

Posted by   on (December 12, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

SElectors change from time to time so lets have Ntini as a selector. I am sure he will select the team he thinks will do the best. He is not going to select a black player if he is not good enough because he as much as any one knows how bad it is for somebodies self esteem to owe his position to racism of any kind. There are many south african cricket supporters from all walks of life who think Toslikile should be keeping wicket for South Africa. The colour of the skin of Tsolikile or the people who think that or Ntini has no relevence. If you look at frachise cricket you see more and more class black players. The time will come when a black player is the best and he will get selected. At the moment few can claim objectively that they are good enough for a place in the National team. I am a massive Ntini supporter and am confident he will contribute as much as a selector as he did as a fast bowler and lightening never tiring outfielder.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 12, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

Just to be clear and please get your facts straight.

KP didnt leave SA because of racial decrimiation, however he likes to use this race card for justifying leaving SA. When he was playing in SA for the Dolphins he batted at 8 and was in the team as an off-spinner !!!!

Jonathan Trott, Craig Kieswetter, Compton, Dernbach, Claude Henderson, Tim Groenewald are and never will be good enough to play for SA, so fair enough that they decided to get a game for another country instead. They cant use the race card either because they were never good enough. These players were average players in Domestic cricket in SA, its playing County cricket in England that made them better players.

Posted by Jaggerr on (December 12, 2012, 5:32 GMT)

Ntini asked by the British Observer in Feb 2003 about politicians who claim racial discrimination in SA cricket: "I do not believe in mixing politics with sport and I do not see why people still see a problem today. We already all have the same opportunities. One thing I do not want is for us to be called affirmative action players. That's bad for black players and bad for South African cricket. I want to play first and foremost with good players, the best players, in a winning team."... seems Ntini has changed, and why does CSA not propose ways of keeping us at the the #1 spot, no they rather propose some quata selector policy

Posted by SATID on (December 12, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

Good idea. Lets choose a selector that blamed race on being dropped. That said Thami is not keeping wicket because of his race...please tell me you can all see how this will end. Ntini as SA legend, great. Ntini as selector, will be worst cricketing decision in recent SA cricket history.

Posted by CheetosRule on (December 11, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

(2/2) Historically, Black athletes everywhere have overcome great odds to achieve success, which was earned through blood, sweat and great sacrifice. These achievements should not be diminished by a selection policy that is not based on rewarding talent and talent alone. In the long term, it will be a great disservice to Blacks if they are selected on any other basis other than merit. The notion of instituting affirmative action in a sports is a complex one. For instance, the olympic gold medal winning basketball team from USA did not demographically represent the country. Most of the players were Black; they were, indeed, the best players. Demographic representation is ideal, but not at the expense of talent and merit. SA should focus on the grassroots level and encourage Black kids to play the game by providing good coaching and facilities. The selection policy should be transparent and the selectors held accountable. But at the end of the day - regardless of race - select you best!

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

I loved Ntini as a cricketer. His aggression, athleticism and persistence were unmatched, and I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved. However, I don't think he is suited to the selector role at this stage. I see him more in the Allan Donald mould, mentoring and scouting for young up-and coming fast bowlers to one day play for the Proteas. I'm worried that CSA is trying to fast-tract transformation in a haphazard way which will have dire consequences for cricket in this country. The reason why cricket is still popular is because of the strength of the national team. Makhaya Ntini earned his place in the national setup and the next black African cricketer needs to do the same. Ntini should be put in a role where he can identify young black fast bowlers and develop them because that's where Ntini's expertise are most required.

Posted by CheetosRule on (December 11, 2012, 18:05 GMT)

First of all, with regard to the plight of the Blacks in South Africa, there are far more important things of greater concern than Cricket such as access to quality education, jobs, upward social mobility, etc. Cricket is somewhat important because it provides the optics for cultural and societal transformation. Many great sporting moments such as Jesse Owens winning gold in Berlin, Jackie Robinson playing major league baseball, Ali taking a stand against the Vietnam war, Tiger winning at Augusta National, are all moments that transcended cultural and historic barriers, and inspired people to action and paved the way towards shattering bigotry and prejudice. Of course, a lot more work needs to be done and South Africa has an unique opportunity to show the world the way forward. But with this great opportunity comes great responsibility. South Africa would do a great disservice to black athletes all over the world if it is perceived to give opportunities purely on the basis of race. 1/2

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

It is so sad to see that race is still an issue in South Africa. Personally I do not see how anyone can get a position sporting or administration that they do not deserve. It is an insult to choose someone on colour and to exclude someone on color. It is the responsibility of the government to make sure that players of all colour come through and that the representation in sport is fair. Unfortunately the current government is a total failure thus we are left with making token appointments. - in no way am I saying that Ntini does not deserve the position, all I am doing is pointing out how sad it is that we still refer to race and quotas.

Posted by C.A-SA1987 on (December 11, 2012, 13:17 GMT)

@ Posted by Hendrik G Botha on (December 11 2012, 08:07 AM GMT)

Yes Hendrik, i do agree that appointing him may not be the best thing to do. It is a gamble i think. But you cannot question his test credentials: 390 scalps at 28.82 and 4 10-fors (including Lords) is perhaps not great, but it is definitely something to be proud of... Morkel would do well to replicate/improve upon these figures.

Posted by Seether1 on (December 11, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

@Hendrik G Botha: You sound like you have been badly educated. Let me refresh your memory: Makhaya Ntini has 390 test wickets! How can someone "not shine in international cricket" if they have played over a 100 tests with 390 test wickets. Have you forgotten how Makhaya carried the SA attack for so many years after Shaun Pollock had lost pace and became a holding bowler? Please stop making these ridiculous statements! Andrew Hudson is the chairman/convener of selectors yet his record as a player is distinctively average whereas Makhaya has a very good record and is still involved in domestic cricket. I think this more than qualifies him for the position of selector.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

It is the correct way to go. I played club cricket for many years (Eastern Cape) and I saw loads and loads of talent in the black townships. Their talents get wasted though by not having the correct infrastructure and support. Ntini was fortunate to be picked for SA (not because of his colour, but on merit and merit alone) because he was noticed at a camp. How many other have we missed? How many others have world cricket missed? The talent is there, they need to be found and nurtured. We have millions of people living in the townships, there is bound to be talent that will shake the cricketing world to its core.

All we need is one Malcolm Marshall type bowler to be unearthed. They are there folks, believe me they are there. We need to bring them to the fore and sooner rather than later.

If the Proteas field 11 black players and they are chosen on merit, I see no plausible reason why we should not support the team. (Same goes for rugby and any other sporting code in SA.

Posted by Marktc on (December 11, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

One of the primary criteria for a selctor shoul be that they are non racial. Ntini as brilliant a bowler as he was, has come out and said some pretty racial things about the team and it;s make up...I still say pick players on merit...we are the worlds best team, picked on merit...why should blacks be forced in to the make up, which will dilute the team's strength. IF anybody, of any colour is good enough, put them in..not on race, but on talent alone.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

I am not over thrill with Ntiny at all, he was a good celebrity for World Cricket never could shine in International Cricket...a nice guy ..who was only as good as the rest of the players made him, he had individual successes, but never in test Cricket could excell like Steyn Morkel or Philander, appointed as black selector would suite the regume of South Africa politicks in sport , but it is not to say it is the right thing to do..

Posted by viking_legend on (December 11, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

This is a move in the right direction but i hope the right person gets the job. Ntini has already made a nasty race statement which IMO isnt true. For me, Thami isnt as good as Heino Khun as a keeper or batsman. Selectors should pick on merit. The new selector will add a new dimension to the panel and hopefully stop selections like Justin Ontong and Albie Morkel

Posted by Dirk_L on (December 11, 2012, 7:01 GMT)

Right down at the bottom it is a question of simple statistics. Yes, talent plays a role. Yes, quality of early training is important. But what really counts, literally, in determining how many players belonging to group X are selected for the national cricket team is how many youngsters of group X prefer cricket over other sports.

Posted by   on (December 11, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

I think this is a great gesture, Makhaya has been a great servant of SA Cricket in the past, and will continue to do so. He's a great guy. If cricket in SA could get the funding right so that more clinics could be setup to find good cricketers in previously under-privileged areas, I'm sure we will be no. 1 for some time. I'm convinced we have a few great fast bowlers in townships somewhere just waiting to be discovered!

Posted by Nick636 on (December 11, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

yohandf1984

Agree completely. White South Africans are under represented in Soccer, but that doesn't even raise an eye brow... Race is only a problem if the South African people keep MAKING it a problem It just so happens that the best 11 are not black.

Tsolekile is NOT a good enough keeper to be in the national side. BUT the young keeper for the Lions who IS black, could well be. There is a wealth of young talent coming up, of which Aaron Phangiso is possibly our next big thing. I just wish people would stop forcing the issue.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 11, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

For all those suggesting that team selection should be based on merit and not colour, I would say that noone is disagreeing with you. The main issue is the fact that young black people aren't getting the exposure to cricket and the coaching that is required to identify and develop those who could be selected on merit later in life. That said, a black selector is not a direct solution to that problem. If his job is team selection then he won't be having a direct influence on that sort of grass roots development. He may have an indirect influence though, helping to show young black people that choosing to play cricket is not a dead end for them. Given that SA are the #1 Test side now, the rest of the world ought to be concerned that cricket is currently only taken seriously by a minority of the population. If cricket becomes popular with the black population too then SA may end up more dominant than Australia or WI ever were.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 11, 2012, 6:01 GMT)

The agenda shouldn't just focus on black African players all but non white players as a whole. Coloured and Indian communities in S.A. have always been strong followers of cricket hence the better representation in S.A domestic league. Cricket has never been a favourite following for black Africans as soccer was prefered. Lets not forget coloured and Indian communities endured the same hardships during apartheid, it's just that they liked the game more.

Posted by kensohatter on (December 11, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

The problem is that whilst skill and merit are obviously important factors in selection team culture and the harmony of the squad is also something that needs to be considered. Its like any workplace in the world if the team harbours resentment because the son of the boss got a promotion that was not deserved this causes issues and therefore affects team morale. Its a delicate balancing act for SA cricket

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

The problem here will always exist at the grass-roots level. Cricket is an expensive sport to play at a competitive level in South Africa and the overwhelming majority of black South Africans are poor. Even if talented players get funding and scholarships at a young age it's still a burden on their families to continue on through the ranks. Until we see major economic shifts in South Africa I don't expect to see a huge influx of black South Africans into first class and Test-level cricket. That said, I am happy to see Ntini take up a more significant role in the upper echelons of the CSA.

Posted by bonobo on (December 10, 2012, 22:59 GMT)

You can have simple answers, to the situation in a country with a history as complex as South Africa. Quotas provide an important adjustment and bring forward systematic change. A balck selector, would be a positive step

Posted by Venom on (December 10, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

Not this stuff again. What is Makhaya Ntini, who for starters is not the sharpest tool in the shed (no disrespect intended), going to offer differently from a selection standpoint. There are no outstanding Black talents right now. There are just mere spatterings of hopefuls. If a Black cricketer deserves to play he will play, especially in South Africa. Ngam was a truly special talent who I believed would have equalled the feats of Donald and Steyn if he was able to have a lengthy career.

The only thing Makhaya could possibly accomplish in the short-term is somehow promoting an undeserving Black talent, which will never be the correct decision. This issue needs to be addressed at grassroots level ONLY and national selection should always remain untouched.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 21:28 GMT)

Not only Kevin Pietersen. Others who left due revenge politics.{{ Furthermore before there is a barrage of "serves you right" it is our own (white mainly Afrikaners fault)}}, are Jonathan Trott, Craig Kieswetter, Matt Prior, Mike Dernbach, Claude Henderson, Tim Groenewald, and at least 22 others. The question is when will life be normal, 2020, when team has 6 black 3 coloured/indian 2 whites.

Posted by Newlandsfaithful on (December 10, 2012, 20:55 GMT)

It's a good move, but I have to say that I haven't got much confidence in Ntini after the Thami remark. That was just way off. I think cricket would get greater attention in South Africa if the television broadcasting of both the international and local matches were not confined to cable channels which are financially inaccessable to most of the population. While the status quo exists even if the Proteas were all black players, few black children would ever get to see them in action. It's the whole money issue that is the problem.

Posted by Big_Chikka on (December 10, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

a policy of equality of opportunity doesn't happen overnight, takes years and struggles, with some pain to add. SA have done wonders in the progress made in cricket, particularly so given their history. the gov't and board should be encouraged to continue to strive to bring about a more equal and merit based national team. they are doing good so far. i cannot think of a person in my group of friends who hasn't appreciated the achievements of g smith as captain, strange he's white, yet never seen him as " white," just a damn good captain and player. the world and the game should be big enough for everybody. well done SA.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (December 10, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

I did think that one of the natural results of readmjitting South Africa to the international stage was for black Africans to be given the opportunity to compete in an equal way with everyone else and I see the failure of this a cynical attempt to pull the wool over the rest of the world's eyes. Please expedite, South Africa.

Posted by Beertjie on (December 10, 2012, 18:47 GMT)

@KerneelsMerkII on (December 10 2012, 11:25 AM GMT) : After reading the article my heart was bursting with pride. Sadly, then I read the comments. Sadly this is a major reason why I have never supported the Proteas. Young or old my fellow South Africans are not "my" people!

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Whats terrible is that Ntini is saying some of the Proteas "aren't black enough" to be considered Black Africans. Really? JP Duminy? Vernon Philander? Alviro Pietersen? Robin Peterson? If you start selecting players on something other than merit then you are on a long slippery slope to mediocrity. Its also important to remember in the quest to gain new fans that the CSA doesn't alienate the fans of 17+ years. What I mean is, we fans know enough about cricket to know when a player has been chosen for politics, rather than for ability. And we won't let it stand, regardless of the player's skin colour.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

Omar Henry, ashwell prince & Vernon Philander are black people who have/are played/playing tests for south africa since re-admission. Just because they are slightly lighter in skin colour than some, makes them different. So i don't get miss monda's point about "black" africans, because ntini wasn't exactly of dark complexional.

Either way its a troubling policy. "Transformation" is just a big word for quota/race selections. Tsolekile should never have been anointed boucher's replacement - because he is not the best keeper in south africa. Heino Kuhn, dane vilas & quinton de kock are milesss better.

Fact is black people in south africa are football fans mainly. More black people know about football star steven pienaar than jacques kallis. S Africa cricket board, should try and go into the black communities & develop cricket academies so they can produce black players who would make the national team on merit.

Posted by YorkshirePudding on (December 10, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

Personally speaking, people should be picked on merit and merit alone, not because thier skin is a certain shade, the sad thing is that getting into the SA team will require someone to be outstanding even then they may have to wait for the opportunity to arise. If SA go down the route of quota's in the ODI and test team they will be taking a step backwards IMHO.

Posted by wakaPAK on (December 10, 2012, 18:19 GMT)

I can go on and say SA should be more mature and select players according to talent and not color and the quota system should be scrapped but I know those people are dealing with their own problems in their own ways and we should not poke our noses in others matter; let them mature on their own we cant do that. As long as their intentions are good we should be supportive and not critical of everything. they know their history and socio-political situation and they are dealing with it. People should stop telling others how to do things. The quota system is not there to stay; it will eventually go away; that's for sure.

Posted by SCC08 on (December 10, 2012, 17:58 GMT)

@Sapho - how many white players are represented in this SA soccer side you speak of? 0 is the answer.. Why do Politicians have to play the race card whenever South Africa excel in any sport? The truth is an in all of our countries sport and work place is that there currently is an Affirmative Action plan in place to provide massive quota's representation to the majority and nothing to the minority. Any black cricketer is provided a better opportunity than a white player, fact. Speaking of Phangiso, he should be behind Roelof VDM in the pecking order although I do think he can do a good job. At what stage can we drop these affirmative selections and pick the best team. Been 20 years now...... ( Please publish )

Posted by duncanmoo on (December 10, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

@Niraj Vashi please look back KP was a very average player when he left SA, very average. I happen to know the Pieterson family from when I lived in Pietermaritzburg, and I remember their whole family walking out of our church when the pastor preached that Apartheid is wrong; he was always going to leave!

Posted by Harlequin. on (December 10, 2012, 16:48 GMT)

Oh come on!! Ntini was a brilliant player and a great role-model for anyone, a more than worthy selector without having to bring race into it and cheapen the whole thing.

Posted by mcsdl on (December 10, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

Dont get it...! Peterson, Philander, Duminy, Prince has some sort of black in them...! Maybe they are mixed race.. not sure...! So I guess when they are talking about selecting black players they must be on about non-mixed proper BLACK africans with African surnames I guess..! Otherwise we do see coloured people in South african dressing room anyway...!

Posted by Gordo85 on (December 10, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

It does need to be a level playing field. Whoever plays for South Africa in cricket more than likely needs to have all of the basics covered obviously but then if players put in enough back to back great performances at Domestic level they should be picked regardless. I do remember hearing some years ago that South Africa was getting closer to getting rid of this selection policy of having to pick four black players.(or some number like that in ODI's I think) To be honest I wasn't against that policy provided they deserved to be in the team in the first place. I don't think that the policy I mentioned before has been removed but I do remember it getting close to having that out of the game. I am all for this appointment of Makhaya Ntini being a black selector because to me it is a step in the right direction.(obviously I am an outsider though) The problem is when players just start playing internationally just for the sake of it and not doing enough to the lead up to it.

Posted by OzHorse on (December 10, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

You don't 'transform' at the international or even domestic First Class level. Only complete and utter idiots doomed for failure would attempt such a futile exercise. 'Transformation' can only happen at the junior level. More black children need to be exposed to cricket. Areas or schools need to be assigned a Liason officer who 'trains the trainers' and starts cricket programs in schools as part of their sports programs. This exercise identifies talent and those individuals have to be nurtured through development acadamies. But this requires planning, funding and organisation...something SA seems to be incapable of at all levels.

Posted by Jabulani on (December 10, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

I applaud the sentiment but question the application. It is true that 80% of South Africa's population is black, but the percentage of players involved in cricket is not the same. I hope this is not a departure from grass-roots investment to increase the black involvement to a more top down approach as this will certainly have adverse consequences on the countries cricketing achievements. I guess only time will answer that question and I wish whoever is chosen a successful tenure.

Posted by Inducker on (December 10, 2012, 14:09 GMT)

With the Proteas at number 1 and looking to stay there at least for the next 6 months or so, why not try and throw a spanner in the works in the best way possible with a divisive article like this?

Posted by murf on (December 10, 2012, 13:53 GMT)

Here we go again...if a white were appointed in this fashion, the world would scream racism..is it ok to appoint a black like this ??? Shades of the Zimbabwe cricket racist policies wrecking the game all over again....pick the best people for the game irrespective of colour,creed, religion etc....

Posted by AngryAngy on (December 10, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Just because a person has dark skin, doesn't mean they're any more 'black' than Hashim Amla. A lot of South African cricketers are "coloureds". They have mixed heritage, which includes not only European, but also Indian. These people were also oppressed by Apartheid. As a Cape Coloured, Basil D'Oliveira could play cricket, but was only ever selected to play in "non-European" teams and never actual South African first class cricket. He was able to escape and play first in the Lancashire League, then for Worcestershire and England. South African cricket is very multicultural as a result, but when they talk about 80% of South Africans, they mean simply the Bantu peoples. These people experienced another level of oppression beyond the coloureds. Ntini remains a phenomenon to this day.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (December 10, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

I'm a white south african and i think having a black selector is not a bad idea. why not? I think SA does need more represenation black africans and it is instrumental in inspiring young black african kids.

But its very important not forget that it was not only black africans who suffered under apartheid, it was also the coloured and indian communities too. So I think its unfair just to push a black africans agenda, we should be pushing non-white cricketers agendas - whether they are black, coloured, asian, pink, green, brown - doesnt matter. If that is the case then our team is not far from the mark (Vernon, Tahir, Petersen x2, JP Duminy, Amla, etc), pretty much half/half.

Personally I dont think its purely an apartheid issue because coloured and indian communities are strongly represented in SA domestic cricket, I just think cricket has never historically had a strong following amoungst black africans but this can change with more representation.

Posted by djdrastic on (December 10, 2012, 13:39 GMT)

After reading Mickey Arthurs book I don't really have a lot of faith in Ntini. He played the race card perfectly to try and keep himself in the team , even when he was performing poorly.Surely things like this just weaken the team.

Oh well , welcome to South African cricket politics.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

"Just as white selectors don't only select white players, so would black selectors not only select black players," a bad statement from faul... bad!

Posted by gzaf187 on (December 10, 2012, 13:00 GMT)

I think CSA has done extremely well in trying to bring together south africans of all sorts of races / cultures into the team (much better than their rugby and soccer counterparts have done, that's for sure) .. we have/had Xhosas, Indians, Cape Coloureds, English, Afrikaaners, etc ... over the years and the current test nr. 1 team in the world, boasts almost 50% of non-white players. Does it represent the demographics of the country perfectly? No .. obviously not. But you can see that they are on the right track and I am sure we will see more players of the quality of Amla and Philander coming through in the future. As much as I loved Makhaya, he is completely off when talking about Thami .. no way you replace AB (avg of 50 at test cricket) with someone that averages 30 in FC. At most, Jacques Rudolph should have been replaced .. and I'm sure he will be replaced for the NZ series .. but not with Thami. Rather with another batsman. A quality batsman. Regardless of colour.

Posted by yohandf1984 on (December 10, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

Don't go there people . don't go there . Cricket is here for unity . If top 11 South african cricketers are blacks let them all play. If they are whites let them play as well . When selecting a team there should not be any other factors to consider than talent . Grow up South Africa .

Posted by JosephSunlight on (December 10, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

It was only a matter of time when the amazing coloured players started not being black enough. The ANC government always wants transformation instantly but isnt interested in investing in grass roots. Ntini couldnt get funding for his youth program but the countries president spends millions on his home, then sits back and moans about no black players in the SA side.

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 10, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

Still Balck and White discussions!! God save this world.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

Just to answer the "what about Prince, Philander?" questions etc. SA has a complex history of classifying ethnicity. They are not talikng about ALL people of colour here (as opposed to white europeans). They are further differentiating Black to mean what might once have been labelled "Bantu" people, i.e. historically indigenous peoples, as opposed to whites, mixed race people (who were afforded a seperate status under the apartheid system), and people of Asian origins (largely Indian and Malay, many of whom were brought as slaves or migrant labour to places like the Cape and Durban.) The term "Bantu" now has historical apartheid classification associations so is not widely used, hence the use of "Black" . Confusing? Yes!

Posted by Satyajitdutt on (December 10, 2012, 12:27 GMT)

@Niraj Vashi: While I never agreed with the quota system, RSA didn't lose KP due to the system! At the time he was an average player and wasn't going to be picked. He somehow put his head down once he headed to England and got selected. If he was good enough I'm sure he'd have been selected for RSA early on!

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 12:25 GMT)

Prince, Philander, Duminy, Alviro P, Robin P, all coloured making up about 9% of the population. Amla is Indian 9about 2.5% of the population).

Posted by mahjut on (December 10, 2012, 12:19 GMT)

SurelyCynic ... 1) why aren't 80% of players black africans? it can't be becasue they don't have an interest in the game ... 2) boucher ave'd 33 in FC cricket and thami would have been a seamless replacement...not that a seamless replacement for Bouch was what was needed - AB's keeper role offers SA a lot more than Bouch imo - but it holds true that Bouch and Thami were in pretty much the same mould i tend to agree with Mohammed Majam re w/k. @ Zak-, they have moved away from the WASP ideal a little (@Rafayz789 & navinjk55- Prince, Vernon and the two Petersons - and Hashim obviously - are not black africans) but not towards *black* africans. Ngam was more than unlucky from the Proteas point of view, his injury was a crying shame - don't think i ever saw a more naturally gifted bowler. expanding the pool of black africans can only strengthen SA cricket in the long run ... and so far, despite a few idiotic hiccups they've maintained a very high level of cricket while "trying" to do so!!.

Posted by ldogg on (December 10, 2012, 12:17 GMT)

For those that don't understand the intricacies of South African racial politics Ashwell Prince, Vernon Philander, Robin Peterson, Alviro Petersen, Paul Adams, JP Duminy, Charl Langeveldt, Justin Ontong, Loots Bosman, Herscelle Gibbs, Omar Henry, Garnett Kruger etc and 99% of the other non-white crickets that people can name are, in South African parlance, "coloured". That is, they're mainly of mixed European and African ancestry and they are linguistically, culturally, politically, and historically distinct from "black Africans" such as Ntini, Ngam, Zondeki, Toslekile, Tstostobe etc

Posted by floorwalker007 on (December 10, 2012, 12:12 GMT)

Seriously, let's not get carried away.

The real issue at hand is that like many other things in SA the problem can't be solved at the top.

Grassroots is where it is at. As much as we'd like to say Bakers is everywhere there is nothing and mostly not even a real pitch available in many areas. "White" areas included. The years of hard work (thousands of white players also don't make it) and 'lucky' breaks required to even get to provincial colours are insane. Anyone involved in school or club cricket should know this.

As pointed out there are many coloured players that have come through. As stated it's interest that is being created at a young age. There are plenty of passionate coloured cricket supporter at Newlands. Not so many black supporters.

Quite simply it is something that needs to be addressed at school level and actually requires government input beyond Bakers...honestly, we will struggle for a balanced team another 20yrs at least because we have already failed.

Posted by BellCurve on (December 10, 2012, 12:08 GMT)

I too am perplexed. There are 27 players of previously disadvantaged communities that have represented South Africa since readmission. This list includes names such as Gibbs, Ntini, Duminy, Amla, Prince, Langeveldt, Peterson, Petersen, Adams, Parnell, Tsotsobe, Telemachus, Bosman, Philander, Zondeki, Tahir, Behardien, Henry, Kleinveldt, Tshabablala, Bodi, Ngam, Tsolekile, Abdulla, Mpitsang, Khan and Thomas. Are you somehow suggesting that these players should be treated differently? Based on what, the spelling of their surnames? Or even worse, measuring how dark their skins are? It really is confusing and seems to be a very bad idea.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

to all you who are saying "what about him, wat about vernon etc" they are classified as coloured not black, meaning that they have white ancestry as well as black. However I don't think anyone, player or selector, should be selected only because they are black. Just select everyone on merit, best person for the job. It is a matter of time before black players will start making their way through, as will black administrators and selectors.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

How black do you have to be to qualify? Clearly not as black as JP Duminy, Vern, Hershelle Gibbs, Ashwell Prince, Rory Kleinveldt, Robin P, Alviro P, Paul Adams.

As much as I admired Ntini as a player, he isn't doing himself any favors by screaming racism where I don't believe it exists. Thami at his best was not good enough for selection - and he's a long way from his best these days.

Can we expect the RSA soccer team also to be selected based on a transformation policy and have more whites, like 20%

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 11:50 GMT)

Dears: Stop this nonsense, in cricket or anything else, the selection must be made according to the stats and ability. What if the Black South Africans are not so good in cricket??? According to me selection should only be done according to the player profile, performance, attitude, commitment, average and class, no matter the player is green, blue or yellow. (Hasibullah Kabiri)

Posted by AB_DeVilliers on (December 10, 2012, 11:35 GMT)

I think Phangiso shows the most promise out of the emerging black african players. Lopsy seems to have lost it a bit in the one dayers, but needs to be persisted with. He was never a very threatning test bowler IMO. For those asking whether Vernon, Ashwell, Robbie P, JP, Rory etc. are black africans - the answer is no. You need to understand the ethnicities is SA, but in short, they are classified as coloured which is neither black nor white...middle ground. In addition, I don't think this is directly related to selection into nation team...for now. If it is, and if Ntini's comments last month is a true reflection of how he feels and the purpose of this, then I think this is flawed and he is also the wrong man for the job. As Anslem Charles stated, this is to steadily progress, or even fast track, the alingment between black and non black in SA, so that everyone ends up getting equal opportunity asap.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

If Cricket and rugby could get to a level similar to soccer in terms being free enterprise sports, then some of the problems would be solved. In Soccer, ANY person can buy a team at ANY level and shape it how he sees fit. In rugby and cricket, there very few teams and they depend the schools system for players. That means they still get their players from the same schools they got them in the last 100 years, the former Model C and private schools. On the other hand, the soccer teams depend largely on their own development teams that exist at different levels. In short, rugby and cricket structures are designed to maintain the status quo, whereas, given the shape of RSA soccer, there already many 'white' businesses that benefit from it, and any race can dominate it, based on ability.

Posted by stormy16 on (December 10, 2012, 11:28 GMT)

Thorny issue this but nearly 20 yeas after the change why is there a need for a black selector other than to select black players? Everyone knows there are issues with opportunities and past wrongs ect but none of that can be corrected by appointing a balck selector who then selects a black player. I think opportunities for black cricketers should be given up to the first class level but no one deserves the right to play for your country unless you are good enough. Further, as a fan I want to see the best 11 on the field not the best black, white of brown guy. Finally I think its a lack of respect to your opponents to play a guy based on color. Imagine if the SA soccer team was asked to play a white or Indian just because of his color.

Posted by KerneelsMerkII on (December 10, 2012, 11:25 GMT)

After reading the article my heart was bursting with pride. Sadly, then I read the comments.

Anyone who ever saw Makhaya or Mfuneko greet kids at a coaching clinic in a disadvantaged area (yes, predominantly 'ethnic black' areas) and what it meant to those kids to have an idol they can associate with will know what it means for South Africa to have more representative players (read 'black Players', although I cringe to say it).

And to think their influence is limited to cricket is naïve. South Africa needs heroes. And lots of them.

Posted by The_Ashes on (December 10, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

So Cricket is not even popular in South Africa :D

Posted by ZiggyMarley on (December 10, 2012, 11:22 GMT)

I agree with the principle behind this. One selector is not going to be responsible for "handing out" caps to players unless the national team believes they are deserving of a place. As it stands, Quinton de Kock is our next best wicket-keeper batsman, ahead of one promising black player (Mangaliso Mosehle) and Thami Tsolekile. Having said that, with Duminy out injured, I feel Thami should come in for Elgar for the New Zealand series, as de Kock is not quite ready (he is just turning 20) and to relieve AB of some responsibility. Elgar's spin bowling (which was one of the reasons I thought he was selected in Perth) will unlikely be required against the Kiwis. Du Plessis should be asked to work on his bowling and provide 6-8 overs of tight bowling in an average day.

Posted by DaveFish on (December 10, 2012, 11:17 GMT)

Please pick teams based on merit not colour. If the Proteas had 11 worthy black players then that is who should play....and i will support them. Do we need to add some white into the Soccer side? Teams must play the strongest players. What about Tahir & Amla???

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (December 10, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

Good... It's really good...

Posted by Mjay24 on (December 10, 2012, 11:08 GMT)

Um what about JP,Prince, Veron, Both Pietersen's???

Posted by Vleis on (December 10, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

One of the reasons why many Saffers are playing for England, NZ, etc, is due to the reverse discrimination in place at present. The resentment builds up over years for the kids because each provincial team must have at least 50% non-white representation. It's difficult to explain to your son why he wasn't selected for his province when he averaged 103 at the trials, but the chap selected averaged 29. You try to explain how unfair it was for the non-whites during apartheid, but kids born years after apartheid ended do not see life in terms of colour. Indeed, the non-whites also start to wonder whether they were genuinely good enough or if they were "quota players", which does not help their confidence either. Rather pump huge amounts of cash into non-white cricket, but terminate quotas....and "hidden" quotas.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 11:06 GMT)

It must be merit over color of skin. Remember they lost Kevin Pieterson because of reverse racism and quotas and see where he is now.

Posted by risimati_l on (December 10, 2012, 11:04 GMT)

This is really a thorny issue for black Africans especially when we see players like Tsotsobe been dropped for no apparent reason did he maybe drop the drinks when he was the twelfth men? i rate tsotsobe much higher than rory but i rather see a player of colour getting into the team on merit so development is where CSA needs to invest in heavily in black communities not just the eastern cape but nationwide i hope they do not temper with a winning team

Posted by Fareen on (December 10, 2012, 10:59 GMT)

I don't understand this article. Vernon Philander has been the best test bowler for the last year or so and he's black. And there's also Prince and Petersen. I'm sure Phangiso will have a taste of international cricket sooner or later. This article is full of mistakes. And lastly, I think Tsolekile didn't deserve to play test cricket. His performance isn't exactly very bright in domestic cricket, I wonder why on earth he was picked.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (December 10, 2012, 10:55 GMT)

Black Africans may represent 80% of the population, but do they represent 80% of cricketers? Young Africans favour football, hence the makeup of the SA football team. I hope more talent comes through (Ngam was unlucky with injuries) but picking someone like Tsolekile who averages 30 in FC cricket ahead of those who average 50 doesn't make sense. If only Q De Kock was a black African!

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

Sean, Moodz.. with all due respect, I think one misses the main issue at hand. I dont think anyone is calling for a player to be handed a position sorely based on colour. Nor do I think Ntini's comment regarding Thami must be taken out of context. The real issue we face is that of opportunity. You say that 'reversing that by choosing players based on past indiscretions' - the sad reality is that playing fields are not level as many many thousands of young cricketers do not have access to cricket. Past indiscretions are precisely why these youngsters lack opportunity.

Re the Thami issue: it again comes down to opportunity. Thami is an excellent wicket keeper and in my humble opinion, would not have done half as bad as Rudolph with the bat. He is an excellent wk and had the SA Management went with him I dont think he wouldve let the country down. As it turns out, we went with AB as keeper which is not a bad shout at all... im just saying opportunity knocks...just a bit less for some

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 10:47 GMT)

what about gibbs?? he is also non-white, what about prince?? he is black. its not dat SA doesn't give opportunity to black players rather black players don't perform well & that's y cant get in team. there is nothing wrong hiring a black selector. but selectors have to be like real selectors rather than puppets.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

@ Wasserfall....Get a grip...This is bigger than selecting a few Black Africans....This is to show the world that the authorities are unearthing the remnants of injustice in South Africa.. And I am certain the best talents will be chosen.

Posted by Rafayz789 on (December 10, 2012, 10:38 GMT)

What about Ashwell Prince??

Posted by navinjk55 on (December 10, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

What about vernon Phelander? Isn't he a Black cricketer?

Posted by Buckers410 on (December 10, 2012, 10:28 GMT)

What about Alviro and Robin Peterson, and Vernon Philander, there is nothing inbetween.

Posted by j.konig on (December 10, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Tsolekile should be nowhere near the Test squad, let alone in it. While AB is still unproven on whether he can keep + bat (1 century doesn't prove anything IMO), they still have better options than a guy who averages 29 in FC cricket.

I would think it's obvious the apartheid has nothing to do with the players being selected for SA and if people like Ntini are delusional enough to think so, well then I doubt they truly care about South African cricket at all.

Posted by M00DZ on (December 10, 2012, 10:09 GMT)

Players should be chosen on merit and not skin colour, this isn't a charity its international sport and whilst I acknowledge the disadvantages created by aparthied, do we then reverse that by choosing players based on past indiscretions or do we use the opportunity to lay a new stronger foundation based on Merit, Talent and Skill.

Posted by Unomaas on (December 10, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

Race is a contentious issue in contemporary SA and transformation in SA Cricket is sadly lacking! I didn't agree with Ntini's comments with regard to Thami Tsolokile however we must also not dismiss such comments out of hand. In terms of appearance, one can understand how people would think that...especially in a country where 80% of the population is black.

All in all, I think its a good idea to have a black selector. That oppinion needs to be represented on a national level. I'm just glad its Mhakaya and not sum puffed up administrator who thinks he knows what cricket is about!

P.S., I see alot of new black debutants coming through the Saffa ranks in the next 10 years. Looking forward to Aaron Phangiso representing in T20 and 1 daya's...might even happen against the Black Caps.

Posted by   on (December 10, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

We are the number one team in the world... therefore there is nothing wrong with our selection processes. Why cant the race card just be put to bed already??

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