HomeSportsRacial Makeup!? 'Cricket Reasons' For White-dominated Proteas T20 World Cup Squad

Racial Makeup!? ‘Cricket Reasons’ For White-dominated Proteas T20 World Cup Squad

Outside of the World Cup, CSA will continue to focus on growing their base of players and creating international opportunities for players to showcase their skills at a higher level.

South Africa coach Rob Walter recently spoke about his number one imperative: to create a winning Proteas team. When questioned about the racial makeup of the 2024 T20 World Cup squad, which is predominantly white, Walter explained that his goal is to select the best team with the best chance of achieving success.

While this statement may seem obvious coming from most national coaches, it signifies a change in policy for Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Director of Cricket Enoch Nkwe.

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CSA Chief Executive Pholetsi Moseki acknowledged that the composition of the team raised concerns but stated that there were “cricket reasons” for the racial balance.

The 15-man squad chosen for the upcoming tournament in the United States and the West Indies consists of nine white players, one black African player (fast bowler Kagiso Rabada), and five players of mixed-race or Asian origin.

This level of white dominance has not been seen in a South African squad for an International Cricket Council event since the 2016 T20 World Cup in India.

In 2016, following a report from a government-appointed committee that criticized the slow pace of transformation in the sport, then Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula announced that CSA would not be allowed to bid for major international events.

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Later that year, CSA implemented formal targets for racial representation, allowing a maximum of five white players in an 11-man team and requiring at least two black African players.

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Moseki explained that the quotas at the domestic level, which call for a minimum of three black African players in a starting team, aim to ensure a larger pool of black players of international standard. He emphasized that targets for the national team remain in place, stating that they are not based solely on one tournament but rather on a longer-term assessment.

Walter, along with Test coach Shukri Conrad, was appointed in January of last year and given sole authority for selection. However, Walter emphasized that no squad is selected without discussion with the Director of Cricket.

Nkwe stated that CSA is actively working towards meeting transformation objectives ahead of the 2027 50-overs Cricket World Cup, which will be held in South Africa. He acknowledged that different formats of the game may present varying challenges for players, and the team currently finds itself in a struggling situation in T20 cricket.

Looking ahead, Walter expressed his hope to see more black players coming through the system. He emphasized the need to enhance the development of players so that the demographics and representation of the team will be more diverse in the future, particularly when South Africa hosts the 2027 World Cup.

Outside of the World Cup, CSA will continue to focus on growing their base of players and creating international opportunities for players to showcase their skills at a higher level. The ultimate goal is to bring about a process that will lead to significant changes in the composition of the team moving forward.

In conclusion, the priority of creating a winning Proteas team is at the forefront of Rob Walter’s agenda. While the racial balance of the 2024 T20 World Cup squad has raised concerns, Cricket South Africa acknowledges the need for transformation and the importance of selecting the best team for success.

With ongoing efforts to meet transformation objectives, the hope is that the future will bring a more diverse and representative Proteas team.

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Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
Thato Motaung for SurgeZirc SA
SurgeZirc SA is proud to have Thato Motaung as a valuable member of our team. With his expertise in both technology and sports, Thato brings a unique perspective to our publication. Thato is a talented writer with a passion for all things tech and sports.
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