CSA's 'merit' policy under threat?

2016-04-28 11:37
CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Cricket South Africa (CSA) has denied reports it is seeking to include seven players of colour in the national team. 

An AFP report published on Wednesday suggested South African cricket was aiming to include at least seven players of colour in all of its starting XIs.  

But CSA told Sport24 on Thursday that the number was completely inaccurate and that the policy was - and has always been - to pick the senior men's national team on merit. 

However, after Fikile Mbalula's scathing attack on the federations controlling South African cricket, rugby, athletics and netball on Monday, that 'merit first' policy could be under threat. 

Mbalula, reacting to the 2014/15 Eminent Person's Group (EPG) report, banned the aforementioned four federations from bidding for, or hosting, any major international sporting events until the next annual report suggests an acceptable improvement in transformation figures. 

CSA, somewhat unclear as to the specifics of where they have failed in their quest for transformation, have since requested a meeting with Mbalula. 

According to CSA's integrated report for the 2014/15 season, of the 86 players to represent South African national sides that season, 58% were black.

Fielding seven players of colour in the national side would take CSA past 60% - the minimum requirement outlined by the EPG report.

CSA also implemented a policy ahead of the 2015/16 domestic cricket season stating that every starting XI at provincial level will be made up of at least six players of colour - three of whom must be black African. 

That policy was adhered to throughout the 2015/16 domestic season. 

While SA Rugby has committed to fielding a side that is made up of at least 50% players of colour by 2019, CSA have instead committed to transforming at provincial level and below in the hope that that will lead to a naturally transformed national side.

In 2015 CSA signed an Operational Agreement with the Departments of Basic Education (DBE) and Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA).

The Operational Agreement sought to give "practical impetus" to CSA's development and transformation programmes by linking schools cricket with CSA's Regional Performance Centres and Hubs (RPC & Hubs).

CSA, in partnership with government, currently have 58 hubs nationwide that seek to fast-track development at underprivileged township schools.

The RPC programme was mobilised as a CSA initiative in October 2014 before government bought into the project in August 2015.

South Africa is not due to bid for any major cricketing events anytime soon - those have all been decided up until - but they are due to host the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2020 and the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in 2022. 

Read more on:    csa  |  fikile mbalula  |  cricket

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