Boeta Dippenaar has urged Cricket South Africa (CSA) to revamp its racial quota system and focus on cricket rather than politics. Dippenaar, the new president of the South African Cricketers' Association, wants administrators to choose players on cricket ability rather than race.
His comments come in the wake of Charl Langeveldt's decision in March to withdraw from the tour squad for India in protest at Andre Nel's omission because of CSA's racial transformation policy. Dippenaar worries keen youngsters may be deterred from aiming for international honours because of the policy.
"If people had an aspiration to play for South Africa they will now think twice about doing so," Dippenaar told Reuters. "I have always said the game should be surrounded by people with cricketing interests at heart and not people with political interests at heart. There's a distinct difference.
"We are on dangerous ground as soon as we start saying 'x' amount of players have to be white and 'x' amount of players have to be of colour," Dippenaar said. "We don't mind if the whole team is black if that's the best team. Throughout the whole transformation process a lot of patriotism has been lost."
Dippenaar pointed to the example of England's Kevin Pietersen, who left South Africa partly because of his disagreement with their policy on quotas. "No country can afford to lose a player of Pietersen's calibre," said Dippenaar. "That puts a question mark about whether we are doing the right things. We should never have allowed a player of his calibre to fall through our net."