• All Share : 51679.66
    DOWN -3.56%
    Top40 - (Tradeable) : 45570.39
    DOWN -3.97%
    Financial 15 : 14703.45
    DOWN -5.55%
    Industrial 25 : 70519.44
    DOWN -3.49%
    Resource 10 : 29572.82
    DOWN -2.75%

  • ZAR/USD : 15.0823
    UP 5.22%
    ZAR/GBP : 20.5597
    DOWN -4.26%
    ZAR/EUR : 16.7402
    UP 2.34%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.147
    UP 9.87%
    ZAR/AUD : 11.2613
    UP 2.93%

  • Gold US$/oz : 1315.6
    UP 4.72%
    Platinum US$/oz : 984
    UP 1.97%
    Silver US$/oz : 17.72
    UP 2.78%
    Palladium US$/oz : 548
    DOWN -2.84%
    Brent Crude : 48.38
    DOWN -5.43%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by Profile Data
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Sun Jun 26 22:47:58 CAT 2016

The transformation of cricket is on track

Alviro Petersen | 18 February, 2016 00:26
COMING TO THE PARTY: Pumelela Matshikwe is one of four black African players regularly picked to play for the Lions
Image by: ANESH DEBIKY

After the Newlands Test, in which Temba Bavuma became the first black African to score a Test century for South Africa, Hashim Amla remarked that he knew exactly how Bavuma must have felt.

Amla said that when he first came into the Proteas side, it was as if he had to prove himself twofold.

The talk within some parts of South African cricket is that if you are a black player, you are selected for a team because of your skin tone. However, the reality is that players of colour have to work doubly as hard as their white counterparts. It's drivel that players of colour are there for a free ride. You have to back players in order for them to perform and once they feel that they have your full support, they will give their everything and run through a wall for you. Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada are prime case studies.

Bavuma is a hard worker and has the numbers behind him, while Rabada possesses the pace and everything a professional cricketer should have in his kitbag. When I first saw him breaking through at the Highveld Lions in his late teens, I knew he would be something special.

While we are obliged to play only three black African players in the Momentum One Day Cup, at the Lions we have regularly picked Bavuma, Pumelela Matshikwe, Aaron Phangiso and Eddie Leie.

Our franchises knew that they had to come to the party in terms of transformation.

We, the Lions, have arguably proved the best transformation success story owing to the fact that Geoffrey Toyana is our head coach.

He has an inherent understanding of what players of colour go through to reach the top echelon of the game.

Some players have said that the quota system prevented them from furthering their careers in South Africa, when in truth they were not good enough. Kevin Pietersen claimed that racial quotas forced him to head to the UK. However, the Pietersen example means nothing. When playing for Natal, Pietersen competed for a place as a lower-order batsman and an off-spin bowler. Back then, Gulam Bodi outbowled him. A few people portray transformation in a negative light to advance their own agendas.

I realise that it's their way of feeling relevant and in order to mask their own imperfections.

In certain circles, there is obviously opposition to Cricket SA's transformation policy at domestic level but I believe CSA is doing the right thing in enforcing the rules.

The fact that there are so many black African players that are stars on the domestic scene proves transformation is working.

However, to create a sustainable model, players of colour must be rewarded for domestic form and afforded international opportunities. Mangaliso Mosehle played a fantastic innings for the Titans in the Ram Slam T20 final but curiously hasn't been spoken of as a potential international.

The South African media have a role to play in making sure that fans and followers of cricket know who the players of colour are because they deserve to be there, based upon their skill.

Above all, I believe that we need to change our mindset and send a positive message to the world.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.