Cricket SA reaffirms support for Black Lives Matter

Lungi Ngidi
Lungi Ngidi
Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images
  • Last week, Lungi Ngidi's support of Black Lives Matters (BLM) caused a divide in cricket in South Africa.
  • Cricket South Africa (CSA) has once again reaffirmed its support for the BLM movement.
  • CSA also acknowledge that it needs to address the problem of discrimination in the sport.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has reaffirmed its support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

In a press release sent to the media on Wednesday evening, CSA acknowledged the relevance of the BLM movement in South Africa and to South African sport.

This follows the debate that has occurred in South African cricket after Lungi Ngidi expressed his support for the worldwide movement and when he urged fellow Proteas to do the same. 

"We note the claims of discrimination and racism that have been made by current and former players and coaches, and we acknowledge that these are a part of the sport’s past, and sadly, its present," said the statement.

"We have to face the reality, as management and custodians of the game, that we need to come up with creative, tangible and meaningful ways to address this - even more than we have done already - to make sure that they are not part of our future.

"As a national federation that is custodian to a sport that is loved and played by South African men and women, CSA is actively working to redress the inequalities of the past and to make cricket a truly transformed national sport of winners," the statement went on.

CSA also welcomed the 31 players that had come out in support of Ngidi and said there was no place for racism of any kind in the game.

"CSA welcomes the statement of support for Lungi Ngidi’s BLM stance, made by 31 players and coaches, and the CSA Board and CSA Exco stand with this group, and every other cricket player, coach and fan that believes that there is no place for racism of any kind in cricket. CSA encourages more current and former players and coaches to do the same," the statement went on.

"CSA’s Transformation Charter embodies a roadmap for the organisation and its component entities to structure and implement broad-based transformation initiatives as part of a process of reinvention, re-engineering, and re-organisation of the cricket system.

"CSA and its Affiliate Members affirm their commitment to a process of transformation based on the principle of broad-based empowerment and affirmative action that will continue to increase the number of people involved in the game; increase accessibility to all participants and participant groupings; and consistently improve performances."

The statement went on to emphasize CSA's continued focus on transformation with R385 million invested in transformation and development over the past season. 

"CSA continues to focus on the transformation of the sport at every level, and invested nearly R385 million in cricket transformation and development in the 2019/2020 financial year, and met its transformation targets at the development level in the 2019/2020 season. CSA's intention is to continue to invest resources in transformation as they did in the past and measure impact with incentives and consequences.

"At an executive and administration level, 52 of the 64 full-time CSA employees are Black, as is the current President and Chairman of the Board. Ten of the 12 board members are black, of which six are black African.

"Two hundred and forty-four of the 261 nationally accredited men’s coaches in South Africa are Black, and nine of the 15 nationally accredited women’s coaches are Black. Seventy two of the 115 nationally accredited male referees and umpires in the men’s game are black, while six of the 15 umpires and referees in the women’s game are black.

"CSA also supports 612 township-based cricket clubs, 1 052 township primary school cricket clubs, and 572 township high school cricket clubs. However, facilities remain a huge area of concern for us in these areas," the statement said

The organisation, however, admitted that the coronavirus pandemic had made a significant impact on their transformation projects.

"While the current Covid-19 global pandemic is having a significant impact on transformation projects, CSA continues to meet with members to agree on sustainable growth targets in increasing participation and improving access to cricket. Quarterly monitoring of member progress against their self-set transformation targets will be in place, in a drive to increase the pace of transformation

"It is clear that a multi-disciplinary focus is required to ensure the sustainability of cricket programmes among disadvantaged communities, particularly when it comes to field and wicket maintenance. This includes engaging with local authorities, and strengthening CSA’s partnership with Netball South Africa.

"The advances made in professionalising the Women’s Cricket environment will serve as a new wave for future expansion of Girls’ Cricket and this area therefore presents itself as a new market for sponsors.

"There are also plans to strengthen the Women’s T20 Super League, and to introduce Meso cricket at high school level to grow participation, and create an ongoing flow of new recruits to the game," concluded the statement.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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