Quota system creates dilemma for Lions

William Wentzel (Gallo Images)
William Wentzel (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) controversial quota system got the Highveld Lions in somewhat of a pickle before their Momentum One-Day Cup clash against the Titans in Centurion on Wednesday.

When spinner Eddie Leie injured himself in the warm-up prior to the match, the men from Johannesburg didn't have enough black African players to select in their starting XI.

According to Cricket South Africa’s regulations for the 2015/16 season, all franchise teams must field a minimum of six players of colour in their starting teams, with three of those required to be black African players.

With Leie ruled out, Temba Bavuma and Pumelela Matshikwe were the only black African players the Lions could field.

According to Netwerk24, a few phone calls were made to Cricket South Africa to find a solution to the matter.

Titans captain, Albie Morkel, had no problem with the Lions fielding only two black African players.

Opener Rassie van der Dussen, who was also struggling with an injury, was then forced into the Lions starting XI.

But the Lions encountered even more problems when opening bowler Carmi le Roux injured his hamstring and was forced off the field after bowling 2.5 overs.

As a result, Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana was forced to do some fielding before a fan watching the game from the stands was asked to field for the Lions.

William Wentzel, 20, a student at the Sport School of Excellence’s cricket academy in Pretoria was called upon.

Wentzel, who plays for the Tshwane University of Technology’s second cricket team, says he was nervous before he took to the field.

“Me and my mates were quietly sitting in the stand watching the cricket when Titans coach Rob Walter came and asked who of us was the best fielder.

“I sat closest to the change room and was roped in. Soon afterwards I was out of my flip-flops and shorts and in Eddie Leie’s kit to field!

“Wow, I was really nervous because I had to field close to the boundary. I could hear my mates shouting at me.”

In the end rain had the final say at SuperSport Park. After the Titans posted 240/6 in 35 overs, the Lions were 74/1 after 10.1 overs when the game was called off.

William Wentzel gets a "high-five" from Geoffrey Toyana (Gallo Images)

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