Cape Town – World cricket’s governing body, the International Cricket Council, has sidestepped any intervention – at least for the moment – in Cricket South Africa’s plan to implement racial “targets” for national teams.
The policy has previously been curtailed to domestic cricket, but CSA announced last week that its Board of Directors had “approved in principle” the introduction of targets at international level.
Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport then ran a story quoting “sources” as saying that a target of six players of colour for the Proteas had already been discussed among Board members, although CSA responded on Monday dismissing the report as “speculative”.
Implementation of a targets policy for national sides would seemingly fly in the face of stipulations in the ICC’s Anti-Racism Policy, which includes a section reading: “The ICC and all its Members should not at any time offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage, vilify or unlawfully discriminate between persons based on their race, religion, culture, colour, descent and/or ethnic origin.”
But the ICC, asked for comment by Sport24 on Monday, reacted on Tuesday through Claire Furlong, their general manager for strategic communications: “Our policy is very much that selection issues are a matter for Member boards so not something we will talk further about.”
South Africa would become unique among the major world powers if it started selecting national teams on criteria other than orthodox “merit”.
In the 22 years since democratic elections in the post-apartheid country, CSA has always previously resisted setting targets at the premier tier of competition, but it is among domestic sports federations under strong pressure from the Government over perceived slow pace of transformation.
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