Proteas

CSA optimistic over 'Black Day ODI', reveals cricket isn't immune to GBV

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Cricket South Africa's Eddie Khoza
Cricket South Africa's Eddie Khoza
Lee Warren/Gallo Images
  • The Proteas women will don black in the second ODI against Pakistan in support of the fight against gender-based violence.
  • CSA and title sponsor Momentum are hopeful that the 'Black Day' ODI will be as successful as the men's 'Pink Day'.
  • CSA head of pathways Eddie Khoza reveals that cricket is not immune to gender-based violence.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is hoping that the 'Black Day' ODI, which will be led by the Proteas women, will be as successful as the men's 'Pink Day'.

On Monday, CSA relaunched their 'Black Day' initiative, which was first launched in February 2020 for the Australia women's tour.

Australia pulled out of the series as the coronavirus started sweeping across the globe in March.

Eleven months later, the Proteas women will play their first international series since the virus-induced break when they take on Pakistan in three ODIs and three T20Is.

The cause-driven 'Black Day' game is set for the second ODI on Saturday, 23 January at Kingsmead in Durban.

The Proteas women will don black in support of the fight against gender-based violence (GBV).

The 'Black Day' initiative hits home for CSA as the country continues to fight against the scourge of violence against women and children.

This initiative was further inspired by President Cyril Ramaphosa's continued call to end gender-based violence and femicide.

CSA's head of pathways Eddie Khoza revealed that they do an evaluation on 1 200 players a year with over 25% of them women.

"Cricket is not immune to what's happening in society... Through our player performance plan, we look at cricketing skill and mental and the physical conditioning of players. There was a lot of gender-based violence issues that came out from the report, which was done by the independent company," said Khoza.

"To me when I looked at the feedback, we had to immediately act by getting a psychologist and specialist. Some of the issues revolved around physical abuse at home and sexual abuse that reflected out of this report, you can imagine the trauma and everything that the player had to embark on.

"We felt at that time it was something that we needed to act on. We needed to create awareness and this platform of Black Day will be to make sure of that. When these ladies arrive to play cricket, you need to understand that they come from families and they are not immune from society."

Proteas stand-in captain Sune Luus explained the importance of the initiative, stating that this gives them more reason to play and fight for all women who are affected by gender-based violence (GBV).

"Everyone comes from different backgrounds all over the country. If you bring a couple of women together and you give them one goal, greatness will happen," said Luus, who took over the captaincy armband for the injured Dane van Niekerk.

"That's the idea and that's the vision for Black Day, the girls are very excited and that's something to motivate us while on the field. It gives us another opportunity to not just play for our family and friends but to play for all the women who have been affected by gender-based violence."

CSA acting chief executive Pholetsi Moseki acknowledged that while men are the "perpetrators", he insists that the initiative will be led by the Proteas women - with the full support from the men's side.

"We felt it proper that the Momentum Proteas take a lead on this one, they'll definitely have the support from everyone in CSA, including the men's team. Yes, the perpetrators are men but it is important that we allow the ladies to take the lead one with the support by us as men.

"We also have young boys who play cricket, we are hoping to influence them to understand that this matter of gender-based violence is totally not on."

CSA has collaborated with various roleplaying social activists and stakeholders in driving this initiative. This includes the team sponsor Momentum, women's rights organisation People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA), Netball South Africa and Banyana Banyana as well as programmes that deal with GBV.

Can the 'Black Day' be the new 'Pink Day'?

The 'Pink Day' has become a celebrated event on the sporting calendar at the iconic Wanderers. The event garnered so much attraction across Johannesburg that it was soon sold out as the Bullring was dressed in pink.

Luus hopes that someday all South Africans can cheer on the Proteas women on 'Black Day' as fans are still not allowed to attend live sporting events in the country due to the pandemic.

"Hopefully when we have the next one, the stands will be packed and everyone in South Africa and all the viewers around the world will stand behind us and support us," said the Proteas skipper.

There is hope that the 'Black Day' initiative will be as successful as the 'Pink Day'.

"We need to take a stand and be more vocal about it and talk about action plans. Hats off to Cricket South Africa to bring this day forward, it's a topic that sits close to all our hearts," said Carel Bosman, head of events and sponsorship at Momentum Metropolitan.

"Hopefully, we can get all of South Africa - as we done with the Pink Day around breast cancer awareness - it's to get people involved and supporting this cause."

CSA has issued an invitation to the South African public to rally behind the Proteas women by wearing black on Saturday, 23 January, and using #EndGBV on social media platforms to create awareness.

Proteas women v Pakistan women:

ODI

Wednesday, 20 January - 1st ODI at 10:00

Saturday, 23 January - 2nd 'Black Day' ODI at 10:00

Tuesday, 26 January - 3rd ODI at 10:00

T20I

Friday, 29 January - 1st T20I at 15:30

Sunday, 31 January - 2nd T20I at 15:30

Wednesday, 3 February - 3rd T20I at 15:30

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