Transformation in cricket: some still slow on the uptake

2014-01-26 14:00

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It has been five months since Cricket South Africa (CSA) ratified its incentive-based transformation policy at its annual general meeting.

When the numbers add up, it is a case of the same teams being ahead of the queue in terms of transformation.

At the amateur level, Border, North West, KwaZulu-Natal Inland, Gauteng and Griquas are stand-out performers, averaging four black African players per game in the three formats.

It has massive benefits for the struggling Highveld Lions franchise, who have been able to field four black African players consistently across all three formats.

CSA’s transformation manager, Max Jordaan, is convinced that the system is working even though different franchises faced different challenges.

The Cape Cobras, with Western Province and Boland being their feeder regions, have had only two black African players to show for their efforts this season.

“We do need to understand that the shift was taken a few months ago and it was in-season. But we have taken cognisance of the fact. We are committed that there must be a broad-based approach in terms of spreading the black player base,” Jordaan said.

The Warriors have not capitalised on the Border riches as much as they could have, with the latter fielding an average of seven black African players per game compared to the three averaged by franchise partners Eastern Province and South Western Districts.

Jordaan said the under-representation of black African players in the franchise that had the biggest black player base was worrying but it is something that can be resolved.

“This goes back to a pool of black players that needs to be ready but people will hide behind the issue of time and resources. Not seeing black players on the field will be indicative of the failure of programmes and it will reflect on what we do.

“There needs to be more work done with black African players,” Jordaan said. He acknowledged that the Siphe Mzaidume saga is something that rattled them in terms of a black player slipping through the cracks, irrespective of the isolated nature

of the issue. Mzaidume lashed out at South African cricket for the lack of opportunities and will receive permanent residence in the UK in June.

Jordaan said: “There was a high regard for his ability, which some people did not necessarily agree with - that is what led him to make the claim that he made.”

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