Kaymo’s Korner: Cash must not be root of transformation

2013-10-22 14:00

If there was one thing I was taught by the women who took the time to guide me in life, it is that if you are going to do something, you have to approach it willingly.

What I am referring to is Cricket SA’s transformation policy, which was adopted at its annual general meeting last weekend.

While I applaud the fact that it has approached the issue with a lot more vigour than its counterparts at the SA Rugby Union, who still live in the dinosaur era, transformation has to be done willingly and there shouldn’t be a reward for it.

Unlike in rugby, there are a fair few talented black African cricketers who haven’t had the opportunity to consistently showcase their talents at a higher level.

Some, like Cape Cobras left-arm spinner Siya Simetu – who played in the Momentum 1 Day Cup match on Wednesday – can show what they are capable of.

But with franchises getting financial incentives for fielding black African players, you have to ask if they are doing it for the right reasons. I think not.

One just has to look at the Highveld Lions, who are coached by Geoffrey Toyana.

They field deserving black African players like it’s going out of fashion.

So the Lions show that it can be achieved for its own sake.

One has to ask how a team like the Border provincial side are supposed to feel when they have achieved transformation without the benefit of financial incentives.

Weekend in and weekend out, they field a playing eleven that is well and truly transformed.

It is understandable that different provinces will have different racial demographics, but that should not be an impediment to transformation.

What Border have done in stacking their team with local players is that it will help give the Warriors local flavour.

As much as Cape Cobras batsman Omphile Ramela learnt his trade in Stellenbosch before returning to his Johannesburg roots, he is a Gauteng-born player.

This will give more credence to the theory that franchises will try to milk the cow as much as possible.

By that I mean that teams who field black African players for more than 70% of the games in each format will be reimbursed the average contract cost of that player.

If there ever was a cost-cutting measure, then this is it. This implies that these players are nothing more than cash cows.

Quotas themselves give the impression that black players are picked because of the need to window dress and not because of their abilities.

It will be interesting to see how the Proteas will deal with the issue of replacing Hashim Amla, who will likely miss the second test against Pakistan because of paternal duties.

It will set a tone as to how seriously transformation is being taken in cricket.

This test presents an opportunity for the Proteas to play their first black African player since Lonwabo Tsotsobe last played for them in 2011.

If this does not happen, then don’t expect the franchises to take the issue of transformation seriously.

» khanyiso.tshwaku@citypress.co.za

» Follow me on Twitter @kaymorizm

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