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Thread: Kevin Pietersen facing investigation, sanctions for racism/corruption comments

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    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Kevin Pietersen facing investigation, sanctions for racism/corruption comments

    Pietersen Caught in Racism Storm

    KP may find himself in a bit of hot water on two fronts - one for his repeated assertions that racism denied him a place at the top of South African cricket, and also his comments more recently that Hansie Cronje was a fallguy for the bookie scandal, where others who deserved penalties/bans walked free.

    It's also possible that the ECB may penalise him for inappropriate comments, including insults directed at Graeme Smith (though I don't think much will come of that, myself).

    An interesting detail in the article was that his story about being denied from playing at top level because of the quota system is apparently quite contested from within. It's said that as a teenager, he demanded a senior contract at , and was denied one because his province already had two off-spinners, Pat Symcox and Derek Crookes, who were both South Africa players at the time. He then packed up and moved to England.

    I have to say that though the quota system is definitely an issue, the ferocity of his comments towards it sometimes make me cringe. Haven't heard much of what he's said about the corruption issue up to now though.
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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    It's only when you read or hear what he says do you realise quite how South African Pietersen is. Not for him English diffidence & self-deprecation! His self-belief is admirable in a sporting context, but it does look like something not unadjacent to arrogance on the page.

    Interesting that the article compares KP's china's average of 45 favourably to such well known players of colour as Neil McKenzie & Adam Bacher. WTF?!?
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    Pietersen should learn to keep his mouth shut regarding South African cricket...he's not involved in it anymore so who is he to comment? If he had remained, I doubt the UCB would be able to ignore such obvious talent...how would players such as Smith and de Villiers have broken into the national side otherwise? And a contract as a teenager? He wasn't quite a prodigy at the time, nor was he consistant. Other players in his shoes simply moved unions, not countries! He's a class player, but come on...

    At any rate, the quota system seems to have been scrapped at age group level. There really isn't any need for it, judging by the talent on offer at the cricket weeks.

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    International Coach Barney Rubble's Avatar
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    Censorship gone mad IMO. Everyone pretty much knows that South African cricket has always been dominated by issues of race and yet any time anyone talks about it people seem to get up in arms instead of doing something about it. Of all people KP would know what goes on - he didn't come to England for the weather. Bit of a joke IMO.


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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Whether people want to hear it or not is upto them and I cant care less whether KPs words make them feel awkward.

    As an outsider coming into the SA sports system I had little understanding of the full effects of quotas and targets and I actually had some sympathy with them. After 2 years emersed (sp?) in the system I have nothing but scorne for them.

    They reduce the overall standard by dilluting the representitive teams, and by forcing a number of players out of the game. This happens at youth level and the pros.

    Once you are in a provincial system you are pretty much in it from then on, with U'13s being the most important entry level. If you dint make U'13s provincial you are unlikely to make any further age group and will stay out of the system. These age groups are 50/50 white, non white.

    An important thing to understand is that many provinces have a poor talent pool of non-white cricketers (especially Black African). However it is not all. The Western Cape has a lot of non-white talent, a history of participation and more importantly it is part of the culture. In Provinces like Gauteng (inc Northerns) football and boxing are by far the most popular sports amongst blacks and the interest level isnt quite there. Its hard to promote a sport in areas where there is not the interest levels. In these areas the difference in White/Non-White talent is pronounced and the quotas are causing a lot of resentment and forcing many talented white cricketers out of the game.

    This is just one example of many I could mention but this post is already too long. I coach a young white player that I feel is exceptional. He failed to make it into the Provincial team. Bare in mind if he doesnt make Provincial Youth teams he is going nowhere. I saw the Provincail coach and selector and asked him why this particular boy didnt make it. He told me that he is possibly the best patsman in the province but he was not an allrounder. He went onto say that there is an unspoken rule in selection that all white players had to be allrounders. The reason being is that more Blacks are ;specialists; and due to the difference in standards between black and white players (squad is 50/50) the white players had to be allrounders to cover the weaknesses of having poor black bowling.

    KP may not be everyones favourite, but quotas and targets are forcing many talented players out of the game for nothing but political reasons. The overall standard of SA cricket is being reduced, whilst improving Non-white standards. This is making a number of prominent ANC members happy that have publicly stated its not about how good SA are, but how many non-whites (Black Africans especially) are included.

    Im sure it is a subjest few are comfortable talking about but that should not mean it shouldnt be look at for what it is. The whole thing is a mess and causes resentment, ruins potential careers and weakens SA cricket. Add in the fact that the policy is based on race, and I cant see how anyone can defend the system.
    Last edited by Goughy; 01-12-2006 at 04:23 AM.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Freedom of speech?
    You know it makes sense.

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    International Vice-Captain Dasa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    I have to say that though the quota system is definitely an issue, the ferocity of his comments towards it sometimes make me cringe. Haven't heard much of what he's said about the corruption issue up to now though.
    I agree with that. What's odd is you have people up in arms about the quota system and how it disadvantages whites, yet many of these same people won't speak up or even care about injustices and entrenched discrimination when it affects others. It's the same sort of opposition as there is to affirmative action. It often seems like convenient outrage.

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    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy
    Whether people want to hear it or not is upto them and I cant care less whether KPs words make them feel awkward.

    As an outsider coming into the SA sports system I had little understanding of the full effects of quotas and targets and I actually had some sympathy with them. After 2 years emersed (sp?) in the system I have nothing but scorne for them.

    They reduce the overall standard by dilluting the representitive teams, and by forcing a number of players out of the game. This happens at youth level and the pros.

    Once you are in a provincial system you are pretty much in it from then on, with U'13s being the most important entry level. If you dint make U'13s provincial you are unlikely to make any further age group and will stay out of the system. These age groups are 50/50 white, non white.

    An important thing to understand is that many provinces have a poor talent pool of non-white cricketers (especially Black African). However it is not all. The Western Cape has a lot of non-white talent, a history of participation and more importantly it is part of the culture. In Provinces like Gauteng (inc Northerns) football and boxing are by far the most popular sports amongst blacks and the interest level isnt quite there. Its hard to promote a sport in areas where there is not the interest levels. In these areas the difference in White/Non-White talent is pronounced and the quotas are causing a lot of resentment and forcing many talented white cricketers out of the game.

    This is just one example of many I could mention but this post is already too long. I coach a young white player that I feel is exceptional. He failed to make it into the Provincial team. Bare in mind if he doesnt make Provincial Youth teams he is going nowhere. I saw the Provincail coach and selector and asked him why this particular boy didnt make it. He told me that he is possibly the best patsman in the province but he was not an allrounder. He went onto say that there is an unspoken rule in selection that all white players had to be allrounders. The reason being is that more Blacks are ;specialists; and due to the difference in standards between black and white players (squad is 50/50) the white players had to be allrounders to cover the weaknesses of having poor black bowling.

    KP may not be everyones favourite, but quotas and targets are forcing many talented players out of the game for nothing but political reasons. The overall standard of SA cricket is being reduced, whilst improving Non-white standards. This is making a number of prominent ANC members happy that have publicly stated its not about how good SA are, but how many non-whites (Black Africans especially) are included.

    Im sure it is a subjest few are comfortable talking about but that should not mean it shouldnt be look at for what it is. The whole thing is a mess and causes resentment, ruins potential careers and weakens SA cricket. Add in the fact that the policy is based on race, and I cant see how anyone can defend the system.
    I'm guessing that the "feeling awkward" comment is directed at me, so I suppose I'll respond.

    Firstly, although I think the point of the article when it comes to the subject of quotas etc is whether or not KP was actually a victim, I take your point as to areas where there isn't high interest amongst blacks in cricket. At an implemental level, this should be accounted for, rather than having a blanket policy regardless of geographical interest - although I suppose it could be said that blacks in some areas may have lost interest in the sport due to what had been the case during the apartheid years. It's a complicated issue.

    And of course, "unspoken rules" sound like the ideas the quotas are supposed to exist for are being corrupted, and I certainly won't defend that.

    On the quality of cricket though, I think that any understanding of the quota system probably accepts that there will be an impact on pure quality and strength of cricket at the higher levels. I would have regarded that as "the price paid". You would expect that standards overall would probably be affected, the idea is to redress the balance due to the artificial, legally enforced racism that preceded, with the assumption that one day (and it really hasn't been that long) it will no longer be necessary.

    And this makes me curious - you said you had some sympathy with the idea of quotas and targets when you entered the country. Given that you claim they're not defendable because they're "political" (obviously they're political) and "based on race" (they're obviously about race), in what way did you have sympathy with them? I'm confused by this.

    Anyhow, I'm open to the idea that the quota system is being abused or poorly implemented, or that "unwritten rules" are corrupting the process. But I can basically see, given South Africa's history of apartheid, why they might exist. I think the reason people react to how KP talks about them is because it sounds like he has no idea what a sensitive subject race is, due to South Africa's specific history (which is ultimately why it might make people feel awkward), and why such a system (which I suppose is similar to affirmative action in the wake of segregated schooling in America) might become a policy in the first place.

  9. #9
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archie mac
    Freedom of speech?
    Yeah, certainly I think he should be allowed to express his opinion on South Africa and the quotas without fear of censure (though I would hope that he is of course being truthful) by cricket boards and so forth. I think I made a thread on this a while ago highlighting how cricketer's speech is becoming bizarrely regulated - Murray Goodwin's comments about Zimbabwe cricket had him suspended by the WA board, in spite of the fact that later events demonstrated he was absolutely correct.

    Having said that of course, it's completely on IMO for people to criticize Pietersen for those comments if they have a point of disagreement.

    I guess on the matter of KP's comments about corruption in South Africa, it's more of a matter of those in charge of investigating the issue saying "put up or shut up". I think it's a bit irresponsible to be making allegations of that nature if you've got nothing to support it.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    And this makes me curious - you said you had some sympathy with the idea of quotas and targets when you entered the country. Given that you claim they're not defendable because they're "political" (obviously they're political) and "based on race" (they're obviously about race), in what way did you have sympathy with them? I'm confused by this..
    I can understand how that bit could be confusing. The world is different in real life than text books or newspapers. Quite simply I had no real understanding of the situation or how far it went and how much damage it does. Before coming here it seemed like a decent way to progress black cricket but I had no idea of the opportunity cost vis a vis white cricketers, how influential the ANC is in all aspects of life, and the depth of these quotas. Before coming here, I may not have liked it but I sympathised with the supposed good work being done. Being here and heavily involved, I realised what a corrupt, failed and dirty system it is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    I think the reason people react to how KP talks about them is because it sounds like he has no idea what a sensitive subject race is, due to South Africa's specific history (which is ultimately why it might make people feel awkward), and why such a system (which I suppose is similar to affirmative action in the wake of segregated schooling in America) might become a policy in the first place.
    Africa is a different world my brother. Its a complicated place that is very difficult to understand unless a long time is spent here (It still confuses the hell out of me). I love the irony of a guy based in Melbourne suggesting that KP (born and raised in SA) doesnt understand the issues in SA.

    Seriously, though. SA issues are difficult to understand unless appreciated first hand. The common instance is that most peoples mentality and opinions change quite drastically after spending time here. Its one of those complicated places.

    If my kids were white (they are not) and South African (despite being born here they are not) I would encourage them to move on if they had any real talent for cricket. It is still possible to be successful and white, but the chances of being lost due to the system are too high and the opportunities afforded in a system based on merit would be too good to turn down.
    Last edited by Goughy; 01-12-2006 at 07:26 AM.

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madame*Cricket
    Pietersen should learn to keep his mouth shut regarding South African cricket...he's not involved in it anymore so who is he to comment? If he had remained, I doubt the UCB would be able to ignore such obvious talent...how would players such as Smith and de Villiers have broken into the national side otherwise? And a contract as a teenager? He wasn't quite a prodigy at the time, nor was he consistant. Other players in his shoes simply moved unions, not countries! He's a class player, but come on...

    At any rate, the quota system seems to have been scrapped at age group level. There really isn't any need for it, judging by the talent on offer at the cricket weeks.
    Agreed, he's in England where he belongs and has picked up the penchant for pommie whining very quickly..

    Whilst I disagree with quotas for the same reason outlined by Goughy who knows his stuff, Pietersen at the time was outbowled by a fellow called Goolam Bodi back in the late nineties.. He obviously couldn't handle the fact that an Indian guy was better than him at the time and jumped ship.. All credit to the folks at Nottinghamshire CCC for turning him into a very good test and ODI cricketer, but he should shut his mouth because none of us in SA are interested with what he has to say, because we are aware of what a mediocrity he was when he left..

    I also disagree with your comment about quotas at youth groups being abolished.. There are no quotas at the top, but AFAIK they are very much alive down the rungs in SA cricket

    And as for defending Hansie in public, just enhances his idiocy.. He was a hero of mine too, and I will never defend what he did during those mad few years..

    South Africa is not an awkward place to talk about racial issues, I've never had a problem whether it be talking to black people or white people.. Try that in Europe or Australia where everyone seems to be in denial about the problems they have in their own back yard.. At least we've dragged our dirty laundry out into the open..
    Last edited by Langeveldt; 01-12-2006 at 10:48 AM.
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    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy
    I can understand how that bit could be confusing. The world is different in real life than text books or newspapers. Quite simply I had no real understanding of the situation or how far it went and how much damage it does. Before coming here it seemed like a decent way to progress black cricket but I had no idea of the opportunity cost vis a vis white cricketers, how influential the ANC is in all aspects of life, and the depth of these quotas. Before coming here, I may not have liked it but I sympathised with the supposed good work being done. Being here and heavily involved, I realised what a corrupt, failed and dirty system it is.
    OK. Yes, the reason it was confusing to me was that the explicit reasons you gave for dismissing the quotas and targets as indefensible were already public aspects of the policy that you claimed initial sympathy with. I guess there's a split when it comes to what's considered an acceptable "price to be paid" and that's to be expected. But I'm surprised by the sense of entitlement sometimes expressed on this matter - as if the fact that the quality of South African cricket suffers any tangible impact in the wake of redressing the imbalance of apartheid is just the most ludicrous of concepts.

    Africa is a different world my brother. Its a complicated place that is very difficult to understand unless a long time is spent here (It still confuses the hell out of me). I love the irony of a guy based in Melbourne suggesting that KP (born and raised in SA) doesnt understand the issues in SA.

    Seriously, though. SA issues are difficult to understand unless appreciated first hand. The common instance is that most peoples mentality and opinions change quite drastically after spending time here. Its one of those complicated places.
    Haha, fair enough. But my point about KP wasn't really about "understanding the issues of SA", so much as appreciating or respecting the impact (and debt) of South Africa's past treatment of it's black population during apartheid. Anybody (particularly someone young and brash like KP) can be guilty of that. Not to paint KP in the same light, but my brother was born and raised here in Australia and is constantly on about the "Abos" and what a waste of space they are, how they get better opportunities than Anglo Australians, how they're living in comfort while the rest of us toil, etc, etc. I don't think it would be ironic for somebody from outside Australia to question his appreciation of our country's history, in spite of the fact they weren't born and raised here.

    The "you won't understand unless you live here" thing probably leaves me little room to participate in the discussion, but obviously I have to concede that you've experienced the system, and I haven't. Ultimately, for all I know, Pietersen (who I like as a player) is fully recognizant of the legacy of apartheid, and empathises heavily with its victims. I do think he has a bit of a penchant for irresponsible comments though (including the remarks about Hansie's scapegoating), and particularly so if it turned out that he'd blamed the quota system for not being given a contract when it hadn't in fact been the culprit.

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    For all the ills of the quota system, in 15 years time we will have had 45 million people able to play for their country, as opposed to 6 million throughout the '90's.. Maybe a short term weakening is a necessary evil because in all possibility it could make cricket stronger and get everyone involved..

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt
    For all the ills of the quota system, in 15 years time we will have had 45 million people able to play for their country, as opposed to 6 million throughout the '90's.. Maybe a short term weakening is a necessary evil because in all possibility it could make cricket stronger and get everyone involved..
    Theory yes, practice no. Still you will have 38 million not playing cricket because they are not interested or playing rubbish cricket. We have just set up 10 academies in the inner-city and in townships (with heavy sponsorship) to help improve the skill set but the standard is horrific and there is apathy. The sort of schools that are 5 times bigger than one of the schools I work at and would get bowled out for 20 chasing 200 in a 20/20 game. Yet they get players selected for provincial cricket.

    Since reconcciliation (sp?) the biggest development in cricket has been the rise of the Afrikaaner. From very low profile pre-90s they have exploded into the sport. A fact recognised by Cricket SA in their development figures. This progress has been down to 1 thing. Passion. This is an area that is lacking in many blacks that are genuinely uninterested in cricket.

    For a start, as I mentioned, cricket isnt that popular amonst many sections of SA society. I also see noone is concentrating on producing SAs first chinese cricketer (I actually coach 2).

    There are many repercussions at the moment about how much of a money pit investment in Black African cricket is (very seperate issue to Coloureds and Asians). Millions of Rand have been poured into it for little return. Stadiums have been built that are now in poor condition, thousands that have stopped playing have had equipment bought for them, black coaches have been trained for coaching in underprivilegded areas and then refused to work in the Townships as they were now to good etc. I see a lot of similarities between developing cricket in the traditionally non-cricket orientated blacks as the development of cricket in the US. Many people talk about the benefits and how fantastic it is without figuring out how or why you can get people to stop doing what they are interested in and how much money it will cost.

    The vast majority of Blacks will continue to care about Chiefs and Pirates and little about cricket. And why shouldnt they? Why should they drop what is culturally important to them and do what the cricket authorities want?

    The best way, IMO, to get rid of quotas and develop black cricket is not just to throw fortunes of cash that will be wasted but to target that money for maximum effect.

    I think a good way forward, that is already been adapted by some schools and the Jacques Kallis foundation is to invest in cricketers rather than cricket in general. Black children with passion for cricket and talent should get scholorships to good cricket schools. From this strong foundation they should be judged on merit. Quite simply, you are more likely to develop 1 good black cricketer with 1 scholorship to a top cricket school than throwing 1 million rand at a whole Township or promoting bad black junior cricketers above their abilities with quotas.

    Also financial grants should be targeted and focused on traditional non-white cricket areas such as the Western Cape.

    I fail to see how denying a young white boy a chance to progress in his cricket or denying a white cricketer his job or career has anything to do with righting any wrongs of the past and I can assure you when a 12 yr old boy is crying and asking why he cant play because he is white it starts to hit home. I never have and never will believe in penalising people for sins of the father. Promotion and advancement of black cricket would be/is great (Im on the cutting edge of it at the moment) but I dont see how penalising whites with quotas does anything to help.

    People can keep their higher ground and theoretical models, and Ill stick with dealing with people (comment not directed at anyone in particular but to those in general that are willing to throw SA cricket under a train and sacrifice the futures of many white kids for a point and a principle)
    Last edited by Goughy; 01-12-2006 at 12:09 PM.

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