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Proteas Squad Under Fire: Transformation Targets Missed

Sumant Mandal
2 weeks ago

Proteas Squad Under Fire: Transformation Targets Missed. South Africa’s T20 World Cup squad selection has sparked debate.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) facing criticism for failing to meet its own diversity targets.

Proteas Falling Short of the Mark

The 15-man provisional squad includes just six players of color, with only one being Black African.

The fast bowler Kagiso Rabada. CSA’s goal is for the national team to field an average of six players of color per starting XI across a season, with at least two of them Black African.

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While they have a chance to improve this average in the upcoming summer, the current squad falls short, particularly concerning the Black African representation.

This has led to concerns from prominent figures within South African cricket.

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Proteas Squad Under Fire: Transformation Targets Missed

Former CSA and ICC president, Ray Mali, expressed his disappointment on national broadcaster SABC.

He called the selection a “step backwards” and a betrayal of those who fought for unity in the sport.

Fikile Mbalula, a former sports minister and current secretary general of the ruling party, echoed this sentiment, describing it as a “reversal of transformation gains.”

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Selection Process in Question

Mali was particularly critical of the current selection process, which vests all power in the head coaches.

He argued that a single person making such crucial decisions isn’t ideal for a diverse country.

Like South Africa and advocated for the return of a selection panel.

Currently, coaches Shukri Conrad (Tests) and Rob Walter (white-ball) make the final call, consulting with the director of cricket, Enoch Nkwe.

However, under this system, South Africa has consistently fallen short of its transformation targets, particularly due to a lack of top Black African talent available.

When questioned about the squad’s composition, Walter defended his choices, prioritizing creating a winning team.

He placed the blame on the domestic system, suggesting it isn’t producing enough depth to allow for a more diverse selection.

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