South Africa news January 10, 2014

Mzaidume - A migrant with a difference

Fast bowler Siphe Mzaidume is an exception among South African migrants - he is black African. He qualifies for England in June and he hopes he will get the opportunities he was denied, despite the quota system
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This is not a new story. It is about a cricketer, frustrated with what he terms 'lack of opportunity' in his home country. He sets up house abroad in the hope of making it elsewhere.

The country of origin is South Africa. The cricketer could be anyone from Kevin Pietersen, who blamed the quota system and not his own skills as an average offspinner at the time for his lack of success here, to Neil Wagner, who accepted he was struggling to force his way into a strong franchise team which included the likes of AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis and the Morkel brothers and went to New Zealand, where he admitted the barriers to entry were lower. These players have one thing in common: they are all white. Until now.

Meet Siphe Mzaidume. The 24-year old quick from the coastal town of Port Alfred in South Africa's Eastern Cape, will qualify to play for England this June. He left this country for the same reasons as Pietersen and Wagner. But he is a black African and that makes this story quite different.

"The system in South Africa looks like it favours black players, but it does not," Mzaidume said. "People in high places say they are looking out for black players but they are not. Black players do not get the breaks they deserve. It would be great to be judged simply on your skills, which is what happens in England."

There's great irony in that statement. The merit argument is exactly why Pietersen said he turned his back on South Africa. He felt white players were being marginalised and players of colour unfairly fast-tracked. Mzaidume claims the opposite is true and that black African players are being deliberately overlooked because those in positions of power do not show any faith in them.

I was told that I was not good enough to be a professional player but I believed I was good enough. I didn't want to give up on my cricket career. When all you know is cricket, it's devastating to be told cricket is not your path

So the question really is, is Mzaidume good enough? Until 2009, he thought he had what it took to make it in South Africa. He played provincial cricket for Eastern Province at Under-13, 15 and 17 level before moving up coast to play for Border in East London at U-19 level. He was part of South Africa's 2007 U-19 training squad, which he described as a "fantastic experience," and spent two years at the Border academy.

Then, his progress stalled. "Unfortunately, I wasn't afforded the opportunities to progress further than that. I was told that I was not good enough to be a professional player but I believed I was good enough," he said. "I didn't want to give up on my cricket career. When all you know is cricket, it's devastating to be told cricket is not your path."

Along with Ayabulela Gqamane , Mzaidume went to England to try his luck there. "It was the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. I struggled with the weather, to relate to the English guys, and I struggled with the culture," Mzaidume said. "But my dream was bigger than those problems. I went door-to-door to all the clubs in London looking for a trial. It was hard."

The pair did not travel together and Gqamane eventually returned to South Africa. Last season, he was contracted to the Warriors franchise and has since played for the South Africa A squad as well. "He was very fortunate and one of the few," Mzaidume said. "He can tell the opposite story from mine, so credit to him."

But Mzaidume stayed in the UK and finally got a break thanks to an unexpected source. He contacted Pietersen for tips. "He was one of my links. I wanted advice from KP as to how to go about this move," Mzaidume told South African talk radio station PowerFM. "He obviously left because of the quota system. It's quite ironic that it would probably have been easier for me to get into the system but I am leaving for a similar reason KP left."

His first gig was in the Northamptonshire premier league where he played for Wollastan in 2010. He then moved to Southern Oxfordshire and was also picked in the Northamptonshire second XI. In September 2011, he joined the county on a pre-season tour to... you guessed it... South Africa's Eastern Cape.

At the time, Mzaidume told journalist Peter Martin he had taken 27 wickets in the previous season at 15.30. Martin asked him if he would return to South Africa that summer but Mzaidume said he felt "my cricket future will be in England," and that he intended to, "spend as much time as possible in England as I am applying to get a British passport."

Mzaidume preferred the structures in England, because he felt they valued him. "Everything was just judged on performance which made it easy for me to progress through the ranks," he said. He went on to play for Holmesdale and spends off-seasons at clubs in Australia.

In November 2012, he took 9 for 47 for East Malvern Tooronga Cricket Club in Melbourne. The club's president, John Gilbert, said no-one could remember such a successful return in "more than 90 years of cricket played in Stonnington." Currently, Mzaidyme is playing for Horsham Cricket Association, also in Melbourne, and was part of a training session with the England squad during the recent Ashes.

Ultimately, its Mzaidume's goal to spend more than just one practice with them but he recognises he has a lot of work to do before that can happen. "I don't for one moment think I am going to walk into the England squad. I know I have a long way to go before that happens. But for me to be in a position to be picked for England is a dream for me," he said.

While he concentrates on his cricket , he has managed to pick up big-name sponsors such as Oakley, Blackberry and Adidas and also works as a brand ambassador. "I've pretty much got two careers which is quite hectic," he said. But he stresses it's better than having none at all.

While Greg Hayes, the development officer who discovered Makhaya Ntini, is "flummoxed to hear there are no opportunities for black guys," because "if you are good enough, there are plenty of opportunities." Mzaidume is adamant that the system is failing black African players. "I do feel let down by the system but the best way to try and fill that void is to make guys aware that the world is a big place - it's not the end of your dream," he said.

It's a foregone conclusion then that like Pietersen, Mzaidume will not consider returning to South Africa. "Never. I'd never come back. England has given me everything I have and I need to give something back."

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 16, 2014, 23:33 GMT

    South africa is still wasting their talent by quota system .That is why they could not win a big event (besides 1998 mini icc w.cup ,Because HANSIE was a great man .he had never cared about colour method ) this is sports ministry's duty and captain / selectors must think positively towards his country' dreams and aims.But smith never showed this kind of understading and honesty .IF THE BRITISH CAN GIVE EQUALITY TO ALL ,WHY NOT SA ITSELF.....sssssssssssssshm You still have time to give the chance to polish the talent : black /white , around ( under 20 -23 yrs ) good luck

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on January 13, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    SA cricket board and sports ministry should control this kind of issues . Because Quotta system is destroying their talent continuously . So ,good talented guys must be given right chances.......good luck

  • riaan06 on January 12, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    I think the problem with this guy is attitude. He stated that he played in all the age group teams.In South Africa though there is a system where a substantial percentage of the players has to be of colour. Then all of a sudden you come to the senior side and now you have to make the team on merit.

    All of a sudden you have to compete with professionals who've been playing for years on that level. Now you have to work hard and impress the coaches and then maybe you may get a chance to play. He obviously wasn't prepared to do that.

    He stated that he wasn't afforded the opportunities to progress further than that a. He had a lot of opportunities in the age group levels. If he was decent he would have got a contact, but he wasn't good enough and told so by the coaches. Now he's blaming the very system that was designed to give players of colour an opportunity. There's probably hundreds of better bowlers playing amateur cricket in South Africa who didn't get the same opportunities he got

  • on January 12, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Peter Martin has been quoted in this story and yet his comment - which I believe sheds great insight on this article - has been removed. Why?

  • Slysta on January 12, 2014, 2:44 GMT

    You start this piece with "This is not a new story.", but it seems to me this is barely a story at all. At 25, having never played second-XI cricket in either country and with no genuine prospect of ever doing so, surely he is simply not good enough. I don't think his story provides any insight whatsoever into the quota system.

  • Ocho_85 on January 11, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    I have played against this guy the last couple of seasons and I can honestly say he is very average. On a good day he tops 125kph max and playing kent div 3 last year got garbage wickets bowling all over the shop. A lot of them were more the batsmen getting themselves out which happens a lot in that league. I don't know a great deal about the politics in SA cricket but I can't see this guy being in a realistic position to say anything. The honest truth is that he's not good enough and deluded. Play for England!!! That is a ridiculous ambition, he should set him goals on getting a go at county 2s but the bowler I've seen isn't good enough for that.

  • PhoenixFan on January 11, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    This lad wasn't good enough to play first team cricket in Ireland. Having made false claims about his credentials was dropped from the first team and asked to leave after 3 matches for Phoenix Cc having been brough in as the club pro. Alarm bells should have rang when he got his first bowl in Ireland. He took his jumper off and left in at mid on!!! Playing the race card is just pathetic . This guy is a very average club cricketer at best.

  • on January 11, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    About 14 months ago Mzaidume (who has never played first-class cricket, remember), told one of my journalist colleagues in the Eastern Cape that if Andrew Hudson - the SA national selection convenor - came to him and begged him to play in one of the Tests against New Zealand, who were touring SA at the time, he would have to turn the offer down! I thought that was rather arrogant of him and he continues to badmouth SA's policies. Meantime Cricket SA are doing their best to incorporate more black and coloured players into the franchise and provincial teams and some good players are coming through eg Beuren Hendricks of the Cobras. Watch this youngster, he's a special talent. The opportunities are there for those good enough. Time will tell as far as Siphe is concerned. But he needs to get a County contract and prove himself at f-c level in England.

  • cryptq1 on January 11, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    @Thom. Yes he's barely 120km/h.

    A little research shows that after playing for Wollaston, not Wollastan, in 2011 he played only 3 games for Phoenix in the Irish League in 2012. From there he 'progressed' to Holmesdale where he has been playing for the last 2 seasons. That's in the Kent 3rd Div, yes, 3rd Div. He took 24 wickets in 24 games for Wollaston at 30.63 with a SR of 41.88. Not to shabby but also nothing to get excited about.

    His figures for Holmesdale in the 3rd Div is quite impressive but obviously not good enough to impress anyone in a higher league. Over the 2 seasons he's taken 84 wickets at an average of 15.45, SR 26.17, Economy rate 3.54. Looking at the SR and ER it would appear that he bowls many wicket taking balls interspersed with a lot of loose balls.

    I feel sorry for this man. The quota system led him to believe that he is much better than he really is. Bit weird complaining about opportunities in SA when he's playing in a lower league in Eng than he did in SA.

  • Great_Nate on January 11, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    Well if he doesn't go back to SA now, he isn't being very smart. The new quota system is very pro-black at the expense of other players of colour. Most non-Franchise provinces are desperate for 'black' players

    And I'm not sure why he would go and play club cricket in Melbourne rather than 3 day first class cricket in SA. That doesn't appear to be a good decision - or perhaps he just isn't very good.

  • on January 16, 2014, 23:33 GMT

    South africa is still wasting their talent by quota system .That is why they could not win a big event (besides 1998 mini icc w.cup ,Because HANSIE was a great man .he had never cared about colour method ) this is sports ministry's duty and captain / selectors must think positively towards his country' dreams and aims.But smith never showed this kind of understading and honesty .IF THE BRITISH CAN GIVE EQUALITY TO ALL ,WHY NOT SA ITSELF.....sssssssssssssshm You still have time to give the chance to polish the talent : black /white , around ( under 20 -23 yrs ) good luck

  • SHER-A-PANJAB on January 13, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    SA cricket board and sports ministry should control this kind of issues . Because Quotta system is destroying their talent continuously . So ,good talented guys must be given right chances.......good luck

  • riaan06 on January 12, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    I think the problem with this guy is attitude. He stated that he played in all the age group teams.In South Africa though there is a system where a substantial percentage of the players has to be of colour. Then all of a sudden you come to the senior side and now you have to make the team on merit.

    All of a sudden you have to compete with professionals who've been playing for years on that level. Now you have to work hard and impress the coaches and then maybe you may get a chance to play. He obviously wasn't prepared to do that.

    He stated that he wasn't afforded the opportunities to progress further than that a. He had a lot of opportunities in the age group levels. If he was decent he would have got a contact, but he wasn't good enough and told so by the coaches. Now he's blaming the very system that was designed to give players of colour an opportunity. There's probably hundreds of better bowlers playing amateur cricket in South Africa who didn't get the same opportunities he got

  • on January 12, 2014, 9:12 GMT

    Peter Martin has been quoted in this story and yet his comment - which I believe sheds great insight on this article - has been removed. Why?

  • Slysta on January 12, 2014, 2:44 GMT

    You start this piece with "This is not a new story.", but it seems to me this is barely a story at all. At 25, having never played second-XI cricket in either country and with no genuine prospect of ever doing so, surely he is simply not good enough. I don't think his story provides any insight whatsoever into the quota system.

  • Ocho_85 on January 11, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    I have played against this guy the last couple of seasons and I can honestly say he is very average. On a good day he tops 125kph max and playing kent div 3 last year got garbage wickets bowling all over the shop. A lot of them were more the batsmen getting themselves out which happens a lot in that league. I don't know a great deal about the politics in SA cricket but I can't see this guy being in a realistic position to say anything. The honest truth is that he's not good enough and deluded. Play for England!!! That is a ridiculous ambition, he should set him goals on getting a go at county 2s but the bowler I've seen isn't good enough for that.

  • PhoenixFan on January 11, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    This lad wasn't good enough to play first team cricket in Ireland. Having made false claims about his credentials was dropped from the first team and asked to leave after 3 matches for Phoenix Cc having been brough in as the club pro. Alarm bells should have rang when he got his first bowl in Ireland. He took his jumper off and left in at mid on!!! Playing the race card is just pathetic . This guy is a very average club cricketer at best.

  • on January 11, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    About 14 months ago Mzaidume (who has never played first-class cricket, remember), told one of my journalist colleagues in the Eastern Cape that if Andrew Hudson - the SA national selection convenor - came to him and begged him to play in one of the Tests against New Zealand, who were touring SA at the time, he would have to turn the offer down! I thought that was rather arrogant of him and he continues to badmouth SA's policies. Meantime Cricket SA are doing their best to incorporate more black and coloured players into the franchise and provincial teams and some good players are coming through eg Beuren Hendricks of the Cobras. Watch this youngster, he's a special talent. The opportunities are there for those good enough. Time will tell as far as Siphe is concerned. But he needs to get a County contract and prove himself at f-c level in England.

  • cryptq1 on January 11, 2014, 9:44 GMT

    @Thom. Yes he's barely 120km/h.

    A little research shows that after playing for Wollaston, not Wollastan, in 2011 he played only 3 games for Phoenix in the Irish League in 2012. From there he 'progressed' to Holmesdale where he has been playing for the last 2 seasons. That's in the Kent 3rd Div, yes, 3rd Div. He took 24 wickets in 24 games for Wollaston at 30.63 with a SR of 41.88. Not to shabby but also nothing to get excited about.

    His figures for Holmesdale in the 3rd Div is quite impressive but obviously not good enough to impress anyone in a higher league. Over the 2 seasons he's taken 84 wickets at an average of 15.45, SR 26.17, Economy rate 3.54. Looking at the SR and ER it would appear that he bowls many wicket taking balls interspersed with a lot of loose balls.

    I feel sorry for this man. The quota system led him to believe that he is much better than he really is. Bit weird complaining about opportunities in SA when he's playing in a lower league in Eng than he did in SA.

  • Great_Nate on January 11, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    Well if he doesn't go back to SA now, he isn't being very smart. The new quota system is very pro-black at the expense of other players of colour. Most non-Franchise provinces are desperate for 'black' players

    And I'm not sure why he would go and play club cricket in Melbourne rather than 3 day first class cricket in SA. That doesn't appear to be a good decision - or perhaps he just isn't very good.

  • on January 11, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    Engpland please migrate Ishant Sharma from India too, because they won't drop him until he plays for some other country.

  • on January 11, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    I saw him bowl a few years ago and if he is a " fast " bowler then I've got more money than Bill Gates!!

  • Biggus on January 11, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    @naz139:- Fawad won't play a lot of cricket for us, Lyon is a far better spinner and we've got some promising young leggies too. He's more a poster boy for CA's policy of multicultural inclusion than a serious international prospect. I have nothing against the guy and wish him the best but he's only average.

  • on January 11, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    "... Neil Wagner, who accepted he was struggling to force his way into a strong franchise team... and went to New Zealand, where he admitted the barriers to entry were lower"

    i think mzaidume thought the same, but only about the "england" cricket team. :D

    good on him for going though. it's often not about how good you are, but how you'd fit in the team. we've got a pretty set team now and i don't see any debuts in the near future. if your team is at the top, then you don't want to make any drastic changes. "england" will look at reshuffling their team as carefully as the way you'd reshuffle a magic 8-ball.

  • Robster1 on January 11, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    $$$$$....and how does Mzaidume qualify to play in the UK and get a British passport?

  • on January 11, 2014, 0:36 GMT

    s a cricket writer affiliated to a major East London newspaper based in East London, Eastern Cape, and mentioned in Moonda's article, I recall interviewing Siphe on a few occasions some years back. To me he had a huge chip on his shoulder about SA policies on playing black players on merit. He had a habit of exaggerating his performances on the field telling some outrageous whoppers to his teachers and gullible journalists about how he was the hero against Australia A or the West Indies A. So I wouldn't take Mzaidume's words too seriously at this stage. Let him play some f-c cricket before mouthing off. There are plenty of opportunities for blacks in SA - Siphe must accept he just wasn't good enough to play provincial cricket. I doubt if Flower is anxiously waiting for June

  • on January 10, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    Wouldn't it be nice for once if a player actually stayed and fought rather than blame someone else and hoped to a different Country!

  • mmoosa on January 10, 2014, 22:16 GMT

    Scrap the quota system and let all kids compete fairly.Unlike soccer where " great players" arise a dime a dozen,cricket has very very few TRULY great players throughout its history (ave over 45 batting or bowling ave under 28) ......every single one lost to the system is a travesty.

    K.P ...Nasser Hussain took one look at him when England toured S.A and said "Right,we'll have him".The potential was there for anyone who had played club cricket with K.P.

    Mzaidume...have not seen him bowl so can't comment...he is not young in fast bowling terms to not have played much first class cricket but good luck to him...one has to commend his guts. Perhaps he was not good enough but time will tell.

  • Diaz54 on January 10, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    No way he will be in contention.....believe me!

  • on January 10, 2014, 19:42 GMT

    Gareth_Bain: nice story, but actually KP was competing with Gulam Bodi for a spinner spot when he left, he wasn't a top order bat at all when he left.

    Cricinfo: Maybe this article of yours would be a good one to have as a link to this fairy tale. http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/story/271505.html

  • PureProteas49 on January 10, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    oh please, give me a break, he has achieved nothing, are england that desperate or is the ecb jumping on the politically correct BS wagon

  • on January 10, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    Very similar to KP - a 19 year old who isn't handed an instant career on a silver plate blames everyone but himself. Meanwhile, players with the work ethic, resolve, dedication and talent to create opportunities for themselves are continually coming through and making us the number one test team in the world.

    Good luck with the "brand ambassador" career, Siphe.

  • Gareth_Bain on January 10, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    I wish every story mentioning KP's quota allegation would state that the player competing with him as a batsmen was a teenaged Hashim Amla...

    GBond: Apples and pears... You're comparing a player's stats for the second team and one who mostly plays first team.

    Xolile: He had wonderful stats playing >franchise< level last season. He was playing for the Warriors when he had the wonderful 2012/13 season.

  • naz139 on January 10, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    This is becoming a bit of a joke now. I think there should be a benchmark for such qualifications. Any non English born player should at least have gone through the age group sides to qualify for their adopted country. South Africa has Imran Tahir, Aus with Fawad and England have the South African B side.

  • creebo777 on January 10, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    also wouldve been nice to see kevin pietersen scoring 10000 runs in a protea jersey

  • Chile_Dog on January 10, 2014, 16:59 GMT

    Firdose Moonda once again with a racially charged article. What a paragon of journalism! So, this player is languishing in the lower leagues of England. This a country with 18 professional teams and he is not good enough to make it as a county player. In South-Africa there are 6 professional teams - a third of the number in England. When Mzaidume couldn't make it in his homeland it was due to racism but now he cannot make it in England due to unspecified reasons. What rubbish!

    I can't wait for the next article on how much better Tsolekile is than AB de Villiers as a keeper. Still laughing and crying about that one.

  • Protears on January 10, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    Herp derp who cares.

    Now we just need to replace Duminy and Elgar in the test squad and we are sorted. Maybe we can get a few Englishman....Root, on second thoughts scratch that.

  • tiswaldo on January 10, 2014, 16:04 GMT

    This story is more about the UK's open border policy than cricket, he'll never go near a county 2nd XI let alone FC or the national team ! How did this even get on cricinfo ?

  • MariusRoodt on January 10, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    My brother plays cricket with a Pakistani immigrant for the third side of Benoni Northerns, a club near Johannesburg.

    My brother reckons he is a decent bat and bowls decent off-spin. Maybe Firdose can write an article about him too?

  • SAFan11 on January 10, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    Oh please. I have played cricket against this guy a few times about a year before he left SA. I felt he had potential but wasn't brilliant. The general feeling was he would struggle to make it into a provincial side, he just had so far to go.

    Nothing wrong with his work ethic but he thought he was better than he was. That comes from being the big fish in a small pond (i.e. playing his formative cricket in Port Alfred). He grew up with everyone telling him how fantastic he was and it showed. Blind self belief can play an important role in motivating you to succeed however arrogance doesn't go down well in SA, the reason KP is so hated.

    Maybe like KP he will be a late bloomer but there isn't much room for late bloomers in SA. If you aren't cutting it at age 19 no one is going to pay you to stay on. There is very little space for pros and a new crop of prospects every year. You just need to get a job and be an ammeter or leave the country if you want to try to be a pro.

  • DeckChairand6pack on January 10, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    The Proteas are number one and have good depth. On this basis, and this should be the criteria that counts, administrators would say that their selection and development policies are working. You're always going to get people that are disenchanted. Still, having Jacques, KP and ABD as our middle order would have been nice.

    KP may say he is English, but even after all these years he still sounds like he works in a beach bar in Umhlanga Rocks

  • on January 10, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    This really is a nonsense article written simply to stir the racial pot. There is no comparison to be made between this man and Gqamane in the first place. And to put him in the same category ( be it as a cricketer or a cricket exile) as KP is simply ludicrous. What it does highlight however is the fall out rate of black young cricketer's after leaving school. Much time, energy and money is expended on identifying and nurturing real talent at school level and this is often wasted after this youngsters matriculate. Suddenly all their support structures are removed and this vital pool of talent goes missing. Not quite the same problem with young white cricketers leaving school as they often have those support structures in place and can more easily make the transition.

  • 200ondebut on January 10, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    One big difference with KP - one of his parents was English. So at least he had some affinity with his adopted country.

    This though is as much about wanting to live in England than it is about playing for England.

  • on January 10, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Interesting article. I certainly disagree with the sentiment that there are no opportunities for black players in SA as i believe that rightly or wrongly the quota system has provided opportunity for players of colour. My belief though is that merit should be the defining criterion for selection full stop. I am also of the opinion that we should not discard the deeper issue that this article eludes too - that somewhere in our cricketing system there are players that feel marginalized based on race. This is where the issue lies and while there are vast differences in the economic landscape within this country we will find it invariably sustains the pre-1994 status quo. Players of colour don't have the time to wait around and see if they make it while not earning from cricket we will find that we will lose many of them from the game. A great example of this from the past is Mario Solomons (a Teacher by day) vs Paul Kirsten. The stats prove Mario a better player yet he played way less?

  • wanatawu on January 10, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    Why didn't he ratherb tried to play for Zimbabwe or even Scotland, Ireland or even Uganda or Namibia, Kenya. Don't see him make a Tier 1 side

  • GBond007 on January 10, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Oh please!! The quota system is deminishing our cricket!! I strictly believe a player should get a franchise contract purely on merit and not because of there colour. I did some research and if you look up Jandre Coetzee's ( Griqua's - non Franchise ) bowling stats compared to Malusi Siboto, ( contracted with the Knights franchise ) you would be very surprised. Jandre has one of the the best bowling stats in the country in T20 format and cannot secure a contract. Siboto has a very poor stats coloum and has secured a contract. So please can someone explain? Quota will ruin our future cricket!!

  • DangaGanga on January 10, 2014, 12:47 GMT

    His returns in English club cricket are pathetic, average club cricketers playing in premier leagues have produced better results than these 3rd division results.

    if he could not make it in South Africa with the polices in place over there then this deluded individual will have to try and make a living playing division 3 cricket.

  • Soso_killer on January 10, 2014, 12:43 GMT

    A non story really. The dude is turning 25 with no 1st class cricket and his making noise. Lets move on please...

  • wanatawu on January 10, 2014, 11:55 GMT

    Here is his stats in SA http://www.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/329389.html

  • on January 10, 2014, 11:50 GMT

    Sachit1979 - Chris Jordan is a recent example, I'd be surprised if there haven't been more.

  • Sanjiyan on January 10, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    If he gets to play for England good for him, the hard truth is, hes not good enough for the SA team. As others said before hes been in england for about 5 years now, but he still hasnt played 1 FC match. I have a feeling he might not ever make it to county level, let alone the English squad. If he does, good for him but that wont change the fact that in SA, regardless of colour you have to be extremely good to get to the top.

  • Andre117 on January 10, 2014, 11:01 GMT

    Ok, I don't get it. How is someone who is 25 without a first class cricket record expecting to get into ANY national cricket side? Obviously the South African selectors "ignored" him because he doesn't play professional cricket. The selectors are under pressure from the government to find black players good enough to push into the national side, even though there is apparently no "quotas" where the national side is concerned, i.e. this guy is delusional.

  • Testcricketistop on January 10, 2014, 10:54 GMT

    It is a bit of a joke that sportsmen can so freely criticise South African sporting bodies on the basis of discrimination.

    Neither KP nor this chap had the credentials in SA to back up their claims of being discriminated against.

    South Africa only has 6 professional Cricket Franchises, that doesn't leave a lot of space for non performers.

    I find it pathetic to use these excuses.

  • on January 10, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    I would have to say that despite the novelty of Mzaidume being a of a diffrent colour and complaining about the quota system the real story here isn't about not being afforded opertuinities based on race, but rather the tenacity and perserverance required to make it at any level of professional cricket. I would think if he had demonstrated the same levels of commitment he has in England in SA then he would have done well here also. If it took him going to England to learn that talent, hard work and a bit of luck are required above anything else to make it as a professional sportsmen then I suppose he has grown as a person. We can only hope the next lesson he learns is that you have to make it first before you can sing your own praises but best of luck to him, if he does make it it will be due to hard work and talent and no one would begrudge him that.

  • Biggus on January 10, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    So did he take buckets of wickets at whatever level he was playing at in SA and was ignored or does he just think he's wonderful and no one else does?

  • eddsnake on January 10, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    Can only judge the bloke on his performances, a quick google of him reveals he's taken 83 league wickets in the last 2 years playing for Holmesdale CC in Division 3 of the Kent League and scored 171 runs at 11.4. In 2010 for Wollaston in the Northants Premier League he took 23 league wickets at 30.13 and scored 33 runs at 11. At 25 years old by the start of the next English season I can't see him getting any further than county 2nd XI cricket, chances of playing for England must be zero, talk about talking a guy up!

  • Dirk_L on January 10, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    Has Firdose forwarded a copy to Andy Flower? With a personal recommendation from KP, how can Andy do anything else but whoop for joy? The dressing room will have to start work on inventing a nickname though, Mzaidumey doesn't quite have the ring of Broady, Cooky etc.

  • bestbuddy on January 10, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    I hate to say it, but for Mzaidume to get his british passport in June this year means he has been in the UK for nearly 6 years, or since just after his 19th birthday. He feels he wasn't getting the opportunities he deserved, but few 19 year old fast bowlers do. To put this in perspective, Dale Steyn was 20 when he made his first class debut, Morne Morkel nearly 20 when he made his. Vernon Philander made it at about 19, but he was chosen as an allrounder. Tsotsobe was almost 20 when he made his first class debut My point being that Mzaidume hardly stuck around to get his fair chance on the SA domestic scene, especially considering the huge number of quality fast bowlers there are in domestic cricket

  • Sachit1979 on January 10, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Siphe Mzaidume would be a interesting chap to follow now. I don't really remember any black bowler representing England side after Dean Headley. England had a history of black bowlers who made great impact. Gladstone Small, Chris Lewis, Devon Malcolm, Phil Defraitas and perhaps many more. Not sure if this guy can also make it that big.

  • bull01 on January 10, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    Sorry, but this sounds like sour grapes. If you look at the current England set up, it it would seem far easier to get into the sides there than in South Africa. I suspect he is being over looked in SA, because he simply isn't good enough. Full stop. You can hurl accusations ... but maybe its simpler to be honest. If he were to make the England team, that doesn't automatically mean that he should have made the South African team. Far from it. England is currently in tatters. South Africa have been No.1 test team since they took it over from England, in England. England have been sliding backwards since. 5-0 ashes defeat, numerous send homes and retirements in the middle of the mayhem. I would be surprised if Mzaidume didn't make it. And look forward to seeing him bowl at AB, Amla etc.

  • djdrastic on January 10, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    It's called hard work champ.If you are not willing to put in the hard yards and expect to be given a free ride because of your skin colour you've got another thing coming.

  • MariusRoodt on January 10, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    @gimme-a-greentop, I think Tommy's comments are correct. The guy isn't even playing 2nd XI country cricket, and he's 25. He hasn't even played an FC game yet. If he's so good, surely by now someone would have given him a gig.

    For all KP's whining at least he'd already made his FC debut by the time he was 20.

  • maddy20 on January 10, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    Another SA player to play for England? Yawn! WHo is surprised. After the Ashes drubbing, this is inevitable! England team at any given time will have more foreign players than an IPL team. If only there was a cap on number of foreign players allowed in the England team LOL :D!

  • gimme-a-greentop on January 10, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    @TommytuckerSaffa...geez that's harsh, what do you even know about it? Easy to sit on the sides and hurl abuse...at least he's trying to do what he wants, which is play cricket. Or maybe you're just annoyed because this article doesn't fit in with your normal ranting about the quota system...

  • cryptq1 on January 10, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    This story highlights the problem with the quota system. Creates unrealistic expectations. Amazing that he should say he's not getting opportunities in SA when he's only playing club cricket overseas. I don't even see the point of this article. A player not good enough doesn't get selected and that's worth column inches?

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    Guy plays 2nd XI club cricket in England, he won't make it

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    I hope that he makes it in England so he can back up his claims.

    More importantly I hope that players like Mosehle, Shezi, Nqamane and Zondo show their class and become Proteas. There are even more exciting players like Rabada, Sigwili, Ntshona and Phehlukwayo that could make it if they are managed correctly and live up to their potential.

  • BellCurve on January 10, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Gqamane had awesome stats last season, playing just below the franchise level. This year he was rightfully promoted and given an opportunity to measure himself against the big boys. What happened? Not much. He is struggling to put it mildly. This shows that there is a big difference between club, domestic, franchise and international cricket. Mzaidume has not even played a single representative match in any format. I find it hard to take his views serious. Comparing him to KP is a bit rich.

  • MrGarreth on January 10, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    "Everything was just judged on performance which made it easy for me to progress through the ranks," - This comment should be put on a tape recorder and blasted through a loud speaker to CSA and our government. No player, no matter what his personality, wants to be picked on any other basis but ability. A top down approach was never going to work. Grass roots is where it starts. The transition of the national team from a mostly white to a more balanced team should be a natural one IF (and it's a big "if") the seeds are planted. Thandi Tshabalala was probably the player most crippled by this top down approach. A guy with a lot of potential who was tampered with and pushed when he wasn't ready. Last time I saw him he was barely recognizable. Certainly not the young spinner I once got excited about. His whole action had changed and the reasons for this still baffle me. A lot of people see it as a race thing but I'm glad Mzaidume has shown it affects everyone.

  • London_Meistry on January 10, 2014, 7:10 GMT

    I'm sorry to say this but guess what...? "Superstars" have left and still there is no space for them in the current squad. I'm black and I support "merit", you should have waited till you are at first class level before saying too much, I hope you won't be left looking foolish not for leaving SA, but for your rushed comments.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on January 10, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    Not even good enough to play club cricket in SA. Be my guest and go play for England - good luck securing a county contract.

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    I sincerely wish him the best and hopefully he can make it. Before I make my points, I would like to say that I am in support of quota's in junior cricket and franchise cricket in SA. The thought being that the top white players will still always make teams. The average white guys may not, but that's life. KP did not make it in SA because at the time he was a very average B provincial spinner (refer his averages). Fair play to him for working hard and becoming a good player in England. If he stayed in SA and work that hard on his game, he would have made it here too. Even if you wanted to, it is impossible to stop someone from progressing in a sport like cricket where you can point to averages. I.e. if he played B team club cricket and took 5 wickets a game at less than 20 he would have to get promoted. Then do the same in The A team and you would find yourself in the provincial team very quickly. Do that there and you would be in the national setup very quickly. White or black.

  • ashfaq55 on January 10, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    County teams will not give him a contract unless hes a brithish citizen which he will be in june. Otherwise they will have to sign him up as an overseas player. If you have the talent you will get the opportunity especially after THAT 5-0 DRUBBING ;-)

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    I can't wait to hear international commentators butchering my surname. I don't usually support Poms but if Siphe does go all the way, he'll always have my support. After al,l he'll be the first person that we share same direct ancestor to go all the way.

  • Kirstenfan on January 10, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    This seems completely irrelevant - he was told by the academy that he wasn't good enough, so he disagreed and went off and did his own thing and a few years down the line he's played some league cricket, had decent figures for a no-name Aussie club side and was a net bowler. I think the Academy were right!

  • Bryden on January 10, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    I have to completely disagree with this "nobody's" statement. Mangaliso Mosehle, Kaya Zondo etc are all enjoying quite a bit of game time at the moment and it is not because of the colour of their skin. They have earned the right to prove themselves through hours and hours of training and putting in performances when they have had the chance.

    I think this guy needs to lose his sense of entitlement and think to himself, is the entire system against me (a person most people have never heard of) or is domestic cricket in SA perhaps strong enough that we don't need someone who has absolutely no senior cricket credentials?

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Be very careful my dear Mzaidume - you have achieved very little in England so far and already you are saying that you'll never come back to SA. For your sake I hope you succeed and don't have to return to SA with you tail between your legs. How easily you are prepared to turn your back on the country of your birth for a few pounds - like so many before. Have you ever considered that it's just because you're not good enough to make it into the SA squad yet? You don't deserve it, you earn it!! Good luck to you.

  • Thuram3 on January 10, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    So sad when young guys talk trash before actually making it...my advice to him woukd be to shut up and let his performances and rise make us feel crap about letting him go, not his bitter words.

  • biggyd on January 10, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    might just not be good enough dude.

  • wanatawu on January 10, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    So he is not even playing county cricket but club cricket. What did he expect a national contract. See Swann has retired so good luck, but you are currently playing at a very low level.

  • Waws on January 10, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    So you making some serious statements here, guess you never played enough club cricket in SA, like my team for example....not allowed to play a game on a Saturday if we cant field three black players, its not a matter of being selected on merit,sometimes they dont even want to play...we dont even have three players of colour at the club, then its a matter of phoning people and asking them to play while guys thats always at practice must sit out....jap true story, its sad whats happening behind the scenes,and please stay in England , maybe you will make it there

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  • Waws on January 10, 2014, 6:10 GMT

    So you making some serious statements here, guess you never played enough club cricket in SA, like my team for example....not allowed to play a game on a Saturday if we cant field three black players, its not a matter of being selected on merit,sometimes they dont even want to play...we dont even have three players of colour at the club, then its a matter of phoning people and asking them to play while guys thats always at practice must sit out....jap true story, its sad whats happening behind the scenes,and please stay in England , maybe you will make it there

  • wanatawu on January 10, 2014, 6:15 GMT

    So he is not even playing county cricket but club cricket. What did he expect a national contract. See Swann has retired so good luck, but you are currently playing at a very low level.

  • biggyd on January 10, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    might just not be good enough dude.

  • Thuram3 on January 10, 2014, 6:24 GMT

    So sad when young guys talk trash before actually making it...my advice to him woukd be to shut up and let his performances and rise make us feel crap about letting him go, not his bitter words.

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Be very careful my dear Mzaidume - you have achieved very little in England so far and already you are saying that you'll never come back to SA. For your sake I hope you succeed and don't have to return to SA with you tail between your legs. How easily you are prepared to turn your back on the country of your birth for a few pounds - like so many before. Have you ever considered that it's just because you're not good enough to make it into the SA squad yet? You don't deserve it, you earn it!! Good luck to you.

  • Bryden on January 10, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    I have to completely disagree with this "nobody's" statement. Mangaliso Mosehle, Kaya Zondo etc are all enjoying quite a bit of game time at the moment and it is not because of the colour of their skin. They have earned the right to prove themselves through hours and hours of training and putting in performances when they have had the chance.

    I think this guy needs to lose his sense of entitlement and think to himself, is the entire system against me (a person most people have never heard of) or is domestic cricket in SA perhaps strong enough that we don't need someone who has absolutely no senior cricket credentials?

  • Kirstenfan on January 10, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    This seems completely irrelevant - he was told by the academy that he wasn't good enough, so he disagreed and went off and did his own thing and a few years down the line he's played some league cricket, had decent figures for a no-name Aussie club side and was a net bowler. I think the Academy were right!

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    I can't wait to hear international commentators butchering my surname. I don't usually support Poms but if Siphe does go all the way, he'll always have my support. After al,l he'll be the first person that we share same direct ancestor to go all the way.

  • ashfaq55 on January 10, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    County teams will not give him a contract unless hes a brithish citizen which he will be in june. Otherwise they will have to sign him up as an overseas player. If you have the talent you will get the opportunity especially after THAT 5-0 DRUBBING ;-)

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    I sincerely wish him the best and hopefully he can make it. Before I make my points, I would like to say that I am in support of quota's in junior cricket and franchise cricket in SA. The thought being that the top white players will still always make teams. The average white guys may not, but that's life. KP did not make it in SA because at the time he was a very average B provincial spinner (refer his averages). Fair play to him for working hard and becoming a good player in England. If he stayed in SA and work that hard on his game, he would have made it here too. Even if you wanted to, it is impossible to stop someone from progressing in a sport like cricket where you can point to averages. I.e. if he played B team club cricket and took 5 wickets a game at less than 20 he would have to get promoted. Then do the same in The A team and you would find yourself in the provincial team very quickly. Do that there and you would be in the national setup very quickly. White or black.