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CSA introduce quota for black African players

Firdose Moonda

October 12, 2013

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Makhaya Ntini bade farewell to international cricket in Durban, South Africa v India, only Twenty20, Durban
Makhaya Ntini played more that 100 Tests, but the other four black African players have featured in only 17 Tests between them © AFP
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A black African quota has been passed in South Africa, under which franchises will have to field at least one player from the country's majority race group, and amateur teams, two. Those franchises who have more than one black African in 70% of their matches will be reimbursed an amount equivalent to the average contract cost of the qualified players. The new policy will take effect from October 16, 2013.

This comes after CSA held their first transformation indaba (conference) in over a decade and a proposal was drawn up to introduce a quota requiring franchises to play two black African players. At the organisation's AGM, held today, the board voted on an incentive-driven policy that expects the teams to include at least one black african player, with monetary benefit to franchises who exceed that.

"These new requirements are incentive based, not quota based," Haroon Lorgat, the CSA chief executive, said. "We have a very talented population. We have all embraced the need to accelerate transformation."

"The CSA Board has also supported a recommendation from the Cricket committee to implement a more flexible player loan agreement to facilitate the development of black African players. This is currently being drafted in consultation with the South African cricketers Association (SACA)."

The board will monitor the performance and progress made by the black African players in the domestic competition in the coming season before considering any further proposals for the next season.

Since South Africa's reintroduction to international cricket in 1991, only five black African players have made it to the Test level even though the group forms 80% of South Africa's population. Makhaya Ntini is the only one who has played more than 100 Tests, while Mfuneko Ngam, Thami Tsolekile, Monde Zondeki and Lonwabo Tsotsobe have appeared in only 17 matches in all. In contrast, 11 mixed-race players, including Hashim Amla and Imran Tahir, have made it to the South African side.

South Africa introduced a quota system in 1998 to address the racial discrimination caused by the Apartheid system. The stipulation then was that every team had to field four players of colour - a term which encompasses black Africans, mixed-race people and those of Asian descent. It was officially removed in 2007.

A recent report presented to CSA contained information that most black African players give up the game between the under-19 and provincial level, at an age at which, if they are not contracted, will need to find jobs. The report also revealed that when black African players do get into the system, they are often further sidelined. Only two black African players turned out in more than 80% of their franchises' games last season and when they did, they bowled less overs and batted lower down than players of other races.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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Posted by Dbag on (October 17, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

The lack of previously disadvantaged players is perhaps due to the fact that so few of them have any interest in cricket due, primarily, to a lack of exposure. If the coverage of cricket is limited to pay channels (which few can afford) and there no longer seems to be free radio coverage then how are they going to be enticed into playing the wonderful game? CSA needs to look beyond the lining of its own pockets to realise that this is an exposure and grass roots issue.

Intervening at the stage of the end result shows a distinct lack of insight or imagination. The system needs nurturing through bursaries and support funds for individuals. Exposure and incentives. Surely quotas are only going to weaken the whole and cause further divisions.

An archaic and one dimensional approach at best.

Posted by Sanjiyan on (October 14, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

@hb1970 There are already various laws which have been put in place to right the historical wrongs. The previously disadvantaged community have all the chances they need to make it to the top of their chosen profession and as such if they are talented enough they will filter through anyway. I firmly believe that the national, and provincial teams should be selected on whos the best player for the position regardless of colour/race/religion. The problem though is that the large majority of the black africans prefer soccer to any other sport, which leaves a much smaller base of potential candidates to make it to the national and provincial levels. I would love another Ntini to be discovered..hes a fantastic example for everyone.

Posted by   on (October 14, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

Quotas are a daft way to encourage them. What it means in practice is the black players who benefit are always going to have a question mark even if they are picked on merit. How humiliating is it to play in a team you and your team mates know you are only in because of your skin colour ?

Provide extra coaching, money for facilities and kit and so on for the black population, fine, but selection should always be on merit.

OTOMH Zondeki and Mgam had injury problems. Tsotsobe seems to be a fixture in the ODI team. Tsolekile was behind Mark Boucher on batting skills - this is now pretty much a requirement in Tests, your keeper has to be able to bat well and be able to get into the team in his own right. The days of the specialist keeper, even those who could bat a bit like Bob Taylor or Syed Kirmani are long gone.

AB DeVilliers keeping is pragmatism

Posted by kensohatter on (October 14, 2013, 1:51 GMT)

England should introduce a similiar system... One that encourages the selection of English born players!... In all seriousness its well and good for everyone to say pick the best team and be done with it but what must be understood is that in SA if a coloured player is good enough at grass roots level he wont be picked because of the culture. I believe the best way to combat that is to have a quota system at county and state level and then pick a national team based on merit (where non selection would receive media attention anyway).

Posted by hb1970 on (October 13, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

This step is needed to right a historical wrong. It will take time for blacks to come up to test level. Until then quota is the way to go to encourage them. People from dominant communities in their lands don't like it, no doubt, as you can see from some of the comments.

Posted by   on (October 13, 2013, 11:03 GMT)

Nope, I don't want to see a Quota.... Talent should be the first preference to look at it, no matter what's the Race/Cast.Religion neither nor Skin Color....

Posted by Robster1 on (October 13, 2013, 0:16 GMT)

One wonders if India will now follow suit and introduce quotas for their caste system....

Posted by CricketChat on (October 13, 2013, 0:13 GMT)

I never support quota system in any walk of life. Since CSA has already decided on this, I sincerely hope players take advantage of this opportunity to get to elite level of the game and not take it for granted. The quota system must be time bound, say for next 10 yrs, at most. After that, it must be merit oriented only.

Posted by AltafPatel on (October 12, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

Why they require so? Ntini, Tsotsobe, Philander achieved without this system.

Posted by nomad545 on (October 12, 2013, 17:27 GMT)

A good idea. The requirement of one black player is not onerous at all and the use of incentives for a second black player is creative and allows for flexibility. Should expand the cricket player and supporters base in SA. Good work CSA!

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