Sport is one thing all South Africans love, regardless of their race or wealth. So why is it that the teams representing us on an international stage are so unrepresentative of the population as a whole? It is quite shocking that even in 2016 only two out of the starting 11 in the South African cricket team were black Africans. Because of this, we think the new rules that at least 54% of all national teams must be made up of black players, with a minimum of 18% being black Africans, are a great start to transforming sports into an inclusive arena. We all want South Africa to continue being the brilliant team that they are, so why can they not do that with a more diverse and representative team?
Johannesburg – Cricket South Africa’s newly established system for measuring transformation in its national teams is not an attempt to flatter the Sports Ministry in the hopes of hosting the ICC World T20 event next year, the organisation’s president, Chris Nenzani, stated at the weekend.
Following the body’s Annual General Meeting, Nenzani announced the new system for measuring its transformation targets, which will see it move away from counting players on a match by match basis, but move to assessing those targets over the course of a season.
At least 54 percent of all national teams must be made up of black players with a minimum of 18 percent being black African. Those numbers will be measured over the course of a season.
In the case of the men’s senior team, there will be 27 international matches between now and the end of the season in March – nine Tests, 14 One-day Internationals and four T20 Internationals – meaning there are 297 playing opportunities’ of which 161 must go to black players.
Nenzani went to great lengths to indicate that the new targets were in no way an attempt to win over the Sports Ministry into getting it to support Cricket SA possibly hosting next year’s ICC World T20 tournament.
The International Cricket Council is set to meet in the coming weeks to confirm that the lucrative tournament will be switched back to a biennial event, which will place it on the calender next year. It has been reported that South Africa is in line to host the event, should the ICC decision be ratified.
However the punitive steps taken by the ministry against four sports federations, including CSA, in April banning them from hosting international events, because they hadn’t adhered to transformation targets mandated as part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Sports Ministry, would preclude CSA from hosting the tournament.
“We are not talking about driving transformation in order to host an event,” said Nenzani. “One is not dependent on the other, even though there is a relationship and you cannot run away from the coincidence.”
Nenzani said CSA’s administrators would keep a close eye on how the new transformation targets are implemented.
“We as a Board will make sure these decisions are implemented and on top of that we are going to assess and evaluate the implementation process. We are going to introduce what we call consequence management.’ If you fail to act in a manner that advances the efficacy of this system, you need to account for that.”
At its AGM, Cricket SA revealed outstanding financial returns for the last year – total revenue of nearly R823 million, with profits in the same period of over R107 million. The organisation’s cash reserves currently sit at over R800 million.
Mohammed Iqbal Khan, chairman of the Finance Committee, said the big profits were down to CSA hosting more lucrative events recently, most notably a tour by England, while limited overs engagements against Australia and New Zealand (last August) made for a more attractive product than the West Indies series in 2014/15.
The Gauteng Cricket Board’s president, Thabang Moroe was elected as CSA’s new vice-president. He will serve for three years. As a result Gauteng will have to vote for a new president for that province’s Board.
Beresford Williams from Western Province retained his spot on the CSA’s Board of Directors, but following Moroe’s elevation and Andy O’Connor’s decision not to avail himself, Tando Ganda of Border and Faeez Jaffer of KwaZulu-Natal were voted onto the Board as non-independent directors. They will all serve for three years.