Cricket SA wants fair play for all

2013-10-23 10:00

There are two over-riding aspects to transformation: the one is to do what is morally and ethically correct; the other is to take decisions that are in Cricket SA’s best interests from a business perspective.

The first point is easy for anybody to understand. It’s about introducing a system of fair play in which every South African has access to equality of opportunity.

This includes having access to facilities and coaching of an equal standard, as well as the capacity building that enables every individual to express his talents and compete on a level playing field.

It also requires the individual concerned to grab the opportunity. The legacy of apartheid is that the playing field is clearly not level.

Township schools might as well be on another planet when one compares the opportunities that exist there for pupils to use, such as decent facilities and coaching.

This and the research findings have illuminated two issues: namely lack of quality opportunity and team environment as major blockages within talent progression.

These elements were thoroughly discussed at the coaches conference in August, which resulted in a genuine willingness and commitment among the coaches to afford quality opportunity to all.

We would be failing in our responsibility to contribute to nation building in our young democracy if we did not do so.

From a business perspective, it should be obvious to all that no business can afford to contract. It is the quickest and easiest way to go out of business.

At the moment, there are only about 30 schools contributing players to the Proteas and the bulk of our franchise teams. This is a situation that is not sustainable if we wish to remain the best cricket-playing nation in the world.

These transformation initiatives will ensure that African players get an extended run in their teams at provincial or franchise level.

This is the way to go about capacity building.

It is not a numbers game, as the transformation process is about quality opportunity for all and, through that, creating a sustainable future for cricket and its markets.

» Van Zyl is Cricket SA’s general cricket manager

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