Cape Town - How the upcoming T20 Global League will facilitate transformation in South African cricket has been one of the major concerns in the build-up to the tournament.
Cricket South Africa (CSA), with government watching closely and expectantly, says it had done all it can at domestic level to speed up the process by introducing targets into matchday XIs across all formats.
Every time a domestic franchise takes to the field in South Africa, there have to be at least six players of colour in the team, three of whom must be black Africans.
In addition to that, CSA has introduced targets at provincial and school level while also setting up over 60 Regional Performance Centres (RPCs) and hubs across the country that aim to unearth young, black talent.
The transformation process has clearly been a priority of CSA’s in recent years, and they have had some success with the emergence of players like Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi and Eddie Leie breaking into the international set-up.
But the battle is far from won, and outside of Rabada, Bavuma and Phehlukwayo, there are no black cricketers who can be considered regulars for the Proteas while Rabada is the only regular in all three formats.
All of the above-mentioned players were picked up in Sunday’s T20 Global League draft; a tournament that will be hosted in South Africa, be played by South Africans but will not feature any targets.
Owners and coaches are under no obligation or instruction to pick players of colour, but Lorgat is still pleased with the way Sunday’s draft unfolded.
"We did debate whether we should have targets or not in the teams. We decided not to because our philosophy is to build a bottom-up approach," he explained in Cape Town on Monday.
"It's very pleasing to see that some of the best players are black players selected by people who have got no compulsion to do so but have a reality to put a squad together that is a winning squad. We've got fantastic talent.
"What it says to us is that our programs are working and our competitions are competitive enough to produce the kind of quality players that foreign coaches want. That is where we aim to be and I'm very happy to say that, seemingly, that is where we're getting to."
Lorgat added that the target-driven structures of all other domestic cricket in the country would not be relaxed and that CSA understood that the future of cricket depended on getting black cricketers to the highest level.
"We know that the sustainability of cricket in South Africa in commercial aspects depends on the market, and the market is where the majority is," he said.
"You don't have to be a professor in economics to understand that equation."
The Global League, however, was not the place to be focusing on transformation, Lorgat believed.
"I think the less said about targets and transformation, the better," he said.
"We're not going to relent in our system in terms of developing black players. We believe the talent sits there, we believe the future sits there."
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