Toyana: Black players picked on merit

2017-08-28 11:29
Geoffrey Toyana (Gallo)

Cape Town - Geoffrey Toyana has been at the forefront of transformation in South African cricket over the last six years. 

During his time as the Lions head coach, he has been vocal on South African cricket's need to transform and has embraced the decision taken by Cricket South Africa a few years ago to include six players of colour - three of them black African - in every starting XI in domestic cricket. 

The upcoming T20 Global League, however, will have no such targets in place given the international involvement in the competition in terms of players and owners. 

It is, of course, difficult to expect owners from India and Pakistan to understand the intricacies of the South African political landscape, while the inclusion of up to four international players in every starting line-up also complicates matters. 

Toyana, though, believes that there is enough black talent on offer to ensure that conversations about quotas and targets do not need to happen at this stage of the T20 Global League.

"I don't think we should judge it in that way. We'll see as the tournament starts what the balance of the teams will look like," he told Sport24 on Sunday.

"I think our guys are at a level of being competitive now. Guys like Lungi Ngidi, Temba Bavuma, Aaron Phangiso, Eddie Leie ... proper, proper players.

"I don't think any of the black African players are going to disgrace anyone. All of them are good cricketers and competitors."

Toyana is assistant coach to Graeme Smith at the Benoni Zalmi - a decision that did not go down well with the South African cricketing public given Smith's lack of coaching experience. 

But the 43-year-old is looking forward to working with the former Proteas captain.

He is also looking forward to seeing young South African cricketers shine in the competition and, hopefully, domestic cricket will benefit as a result. 

"It's going to be big," Toyana said.

"There are some youngsters who have gone for big prices. Everyone is talking about this competition and I expect the people of South Africa to come and support the tournament.

"I'm sure the experience of the Global League with all of these international players will uplift our standard. I expect our domestic T20 competition to become quite strong and competitive."

Read more on:    t20 global league  |  cricket


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