SA does not favour black cricketers, says Mzaidume

2014-01-11 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Siphe Mzaidume, a black South African cricketer, wants to play for England as he believes the South African system does not favour black players.

The 24-year-old fast bowler from Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape has played league cricket in England since 2010 and hopes to emulate fellow South African-born Kevin Pietersen by playing for their national side.

Pietersen blamed South Africa’s quota system for leaving the country and pursuing his goals abroad, but Mzai­dume feels otherwise.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo’s Firdose Moonda, he said, “The system in South Africa looks like it favours black players, but it does not. 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.”

Pietersen believed his progress was stalled because players of colour were unfairly fast-tracked.

But Mzaidume feels 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.

Mzaidume has not exactly hit the big time in England yet.

In 2010, he joined the Northamptonshire premier league where he played for Wollastan. He then moved to Southern Oxfordshire and was also picked in the Northamptonshire second XI.

He is currently in Australia for the English off-season where he plays for Horsham Cricket Association in Melbourne.

He was also part of a training session with the England squad during the recent Ashes — and hopes to one day be one of the England team members.

“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 to be in a position to be picked for England is a dream for me,” he said.

During his time in South Africa, Mzaidume played provincial cricket for Eastern Province at Under-13, 15 and 17 level before playing for Border at Under-19 level.

He was also part of South Africa’s 2007 Under-19 training squad before his chances to shine in SA dried up.

He will become eligible to play for England this June.

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