Johannesburg - Cricket South Africa (CSA) has adopted an incentive-driven policy to
accelerate the development of black players, chief executive Haroon Lorgat said
"We will be aggressive in seeking out black African talent and
providing an opportunity for those players to come through the system,” Lorgat
said at CSA’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg.
"We are not talking about quotas or sanctions-driven policies. We are
talking about incentives at franchise-level."
With effect from Wednesday, all franchises that play more than one black
player, for more than 70 percent of their matches, would be reimbursed the
average contract cost of the two players.
Effectively, they would be reimbursed for only one player, but at an average
cost of the two, in the likelihood they would be on different level contracts.
Franchises would be expected to have at least one black player in their
starting line-ups, and the incentive for the additional player would stretch
across all three formats - being four-day cricket, 50-over and 20-over cricket.
"We have made good progress but despite that, we were not satisfied. We
felt we could do more and wanted to accelerate transformation even further and
not just along colour lines but throughout the entire business.
"We honed in on the development of a lot more black African players as
we have a population which is very talented and we have players whom we are
still not accessing."
Lorgat said CSA would be more flexible on player loan agreements between the
franchises, to assist in providing more playing opportunities for black
He was unable to pinpoint where black players were getting lost in the
"It is quite a complex issue, which we have delved into, and Corrie van
Zyl (CSA’s general manager of cricket), together with researchers, have done an
extensive study on it.
"The drop-off rate of black African players developing through the
system was much higher than that of white players. So, if we had the same
retention rate, we would have a lot more black African players.
"The reasons could be social - the need for them to go and work and not
focus on cricket -- or they simply came across blockages in the system, be it
the coach, fellow players or even administrators," he said.
Representation of black cricketers fell from 43 percent at provincial school
level to only 14 percent at franchise level.
CSA would take a holistic approach and, in this regard, Sunfoil, the
sponsors of domestic four-day cricket, had formed an education trust to provide
bursaries and scholarships for players whom they believed would excel in both
cricket and academic studies.
"We would look to fund them in terms of their progression as well as
retention in the system," Lorgat said.
Players would be monitored and measures would be introduced to ensure the
spirit of the policy was applied.
"We’re talking about quality participation so we won’t recognise a
number 11 batsman who doesn’t bowl and it would be everyone’s responsibility to
look after wellbeing of players.
"We are encouraged by the change in mindsets of the players, coaches
and administrators and they have all bought into the concept and the reasons
why we needed to do it."
It was essential to introduce a system that would benefit all those involved
in the game, as well as nurturing new talent.
CSA vice-president Peter Cyster reassured South Africans the new system
would not disadvantage any players.
"We need to provide opportunities for black African players to come
through the system and excel at a higher level, without taking away the
opportunity of all other cricket players who are currently playing this
wonderful game of ours."