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Thread: Quotas to be reintroduced for South Africa

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    State Vice-Captain Marius's Avatar
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    Quotas to be reintroduced for South Africa

    CSA likely to introduce quota for black African players

    Firdose Moonda

    October 2, 2013

    On the same day South Africa's domestic season gets underway, CSA will vote on a proposal which could change the way it looks. At their October 11 meeting, a decision will be taken on introducing a quota which will require franchise teams to play two black African players and provincial teams to field three. A senior official expects the motion to be approved.

    The idea was one of many which came up at CSA's transformation indaba (conference) - the first one addressing racial issues they held in a decade. ESPNcricinfo has learned it was overwhelmingly welcomed at the meeting in the face of South Africa's poor record of Africanisation in the 22 years post readmission.

    "Everybody agreed that we have failed in terms of black African players and that drastic measures must be taken," Norman Arendse, CSA's lead independent director who is also chair of the transformation committee, told ESPNcricinfo.

    Since 1991, only five black African players have represented South Africa at Test level even though black Africans comprise almost 80% of the country's population. Makhaya Ntini is the only one who has played more than 100 Tests, with his number of caps coming in at 101, while Mfuneko Ngam, Thami Tsolekile, Monde Zondeki and Lonwabo Tsotsobe have appeared in 17 matches all told.

    By contrast, 11 mixed-race players have donned the whites and three of Asian origin, including Pakistani-born legspinner Imran Tahir. Arendse said those cricketers, including the likes of Vernon Philander and Hashim Amla, illustrate the success of targets.

    South Africa introduced a quota system in 1998 to address the racial discrimination caused by the Apartheid system. The stipulation then was that every team had to field four players of colour - a term which encompasses black Africans, mixed-race people and those of Asian descent. It was officially removed in 2007.

    While Arendse hailed its achievements, he also explained that it shed light on the true nature of racial segregation in South Africa. "It showed us the stark disparity caused by Apartheid and how the black African community often had it a lot worse," he said.

    "There are two obvious reasons why we don't see as many black African players coming through. One is the socio-economic conditions facing black African youngsters compared to their counterparts, especially as cricket is still very much a middle-class game. And the other is downright racism. There is enough black African talent but it seems to get lost."

    A recent report presented to CSA contained information that most black African players give up the game between the under-19 and provincial level, at an age at which, if they are not contracted, will need to find jobs. Arendse's other point was also underlined in the report as it revealed when black African players do get into the system, they are often further sidelined. Only two black African players turned out in more than 80% of their franchises' games last season and when they did, they bowled less overs and batted lower down than players of other races.

    CSA is hopeful this will change if the proposal is approved next Friday, the same day the domestic one-day cup gets underway. Although the ruling, if passed, will not apply for the first round of matches, it could be implemented immediately thereafter and may raise concerns about the practicality of such a decision for franchises.

    In reality, all franchises except the Cobras would be able to meet the requirement immediately. The Cobras only have one black African on their books, left-arm spinner Siya Simetu. The Dolphins and Knights have each contracted two black African players, the Titans three, the Warriors four and the Lions have the most, at seven.

    Sources close to the franchise system said the possibility of some franchises loaning out their black African players to other teams in order to meet the quota also exists. "Sometimes a player won't get game time at his franchise because there will be too much competition for places," the insider said. "It's important that we ensure the players get adequate game time so there would be nothing wrong in them being sent to play for other teams."

    That may defeat the purpose of unearthing and nurturing black talent and Arendse seems hopeful that will not happen. "What we need is for franchises to have four or six black African players in their set-up so that there is internal competition for places. One of the criticisms of the quota system is that it guarantees a player a place in the team but if there are more than the required number, you will be able to counter that," he said. "What we've also seen is that before long, the minimum is far exceeded and that is what we need to build a base."

    The lack of black African players has stood out most starkly in the Test team, which has not fielded a black African since January 2011. Arendse said the national selectors mentioned they get criticised for not picking black African players but their hands are tied because "they only have a handful to choose from". So CSA has taken it on themselves to "broaden the pool of black African players".

    Cricket is not the only sport to be mulling quotas as a means to advance the cause of players of colour. In August, SA Rugby announced they would introduce a quota from next season which will require teams in the Vodacom Cup, the second-tier domestic tournament, to have seven players of colour in their 22-man squad and field at least five in the starting XV.

    Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent
    South Africa Cricket News: CSA likely to introduce quota for black African players | ESPN Cricinfo

    I see the logic, but quotas are almost always a bad idea.

    Also, how will we decide if someone is coloured or black? Will we use apartheid-era classifications?

    And in a place like the Western Cape, where the African population is relatively small, they will have to 'import' black players from other provinces, standing in the way of real home grown Western Cape talent.

    It is a tricky situation though.

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    State Regular GuyFromLancs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marius View Post
    South Africa Cricket News: CSA likely to introduce quota for black African players | ESPN Cricinfo

    I see the logic, but quotas are almost always a bad idea.

    Also, how will we decide if someone is coloured or black? Will we use apartheid-era classifications?

    And in a place like the Western Cape, where the African population is relatively small, they will have to 'import' black players from other provinces, standing in the way of real home grown Western Cape talent.

    It is a tricky situation though.
    I think it's a bad idea.

    First up, we all know that cricket ability doesn't discriminate on race. And all quotas will do is raise eyebrows that some players wouldn't be good enough if selected on merit. Select purely on merit and the rest will take care of itself.
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    Quotas in sports = bad idea.
    SA and its cricket are in a very specific situation though...
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    Hall of Fame Member OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    While I don't believe it applies for every such situation, I'll just leave this here
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    State Vice-Captain Marius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    While I don't believe it applies for every such situation, I'll just leave this here
    If-this-isnt-a-popular-opinion-it-should-be_2.jpg
    Blacks make up nearly 80% of South Africa's population.

    Hardly a minority.

    However, I am against quotas at the franchise level and at the national level.

    They should be handled very carefully lower down.

    In addition, this has to go hand-in-hand with ensuring that there are facilities in disadvantaged areas, so people who want to play cricket can do so.

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marius View Post

    Also, how will we decide if someone is coloured or black? Will we use apartheid-era classifications?.
    It will be done on surnames and self identification.

    Quotas have never gone away really. This just replaces the old PDP 'targets' with those for Black African players.
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there will be edits

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    State Vice-Captain Marius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    It will be done on surnames and self identification.

    Quotas have never gone away really. This just replaces the old PDP 'targets' with those for Black African players.
    Which just shows how ridiculous it is.

    We have to go back to Apartheid classifications to decide who is coloured and black.

    And coloured people were also discriminated against under apartheid, I don't know why black people should get 'preferential' treatment with regard to quotas.

    Moonda also gets a bit tired with her banging on about how racist South Africa and South African cricket is.

    Telford Vice (who is her partner I believe) is not much better.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Disgraceful IMO but hardly surprising.
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    International Coach Agent Nationaux's Avatar
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    Hence the reason why guys like KP and Trott go overseas. Extremely unfair to then criticise them or complain that England is pinching players.

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    State Vice-Captain akilana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nationaux View Post
    Hence the reason why guys like KP and Trott go overseas. Extremely unfair to then criticise them or complain that England is pinching players.
    Had they stayed in SA, they would have made it to the top. AB, Smith, Steyn, Morkel etc have shown that if you are good enough you are going to make it to the top.

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    International Regular The Battlers Prince's Avatar
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    I think quotas isn't a good idea. For SA I think it could work if the economic divide wasn't so big between races. It may not happen quickly to produce plenty of coloured test cricketers, but its a good step forward.
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    International Regular theegyptian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akilana View Post
    Had they stayed in SA, they would have made it to the top. AB, Smith, Steyn, Morkel etc have shown that if you are good enough you are going to make it to the top.
    Really you think? KP was what a spinner wasn't he batting at 10 in his last first class game for Natal. Absolutely no guarantee that either Trott or KP especially would be anywhere as good as they have turned out.


    Still a really difficult situation still in SA. Really don't want more of a drain on there resources by losing players to english cricket but that looks more likely as result of this.

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    I think the only way to solve this problem is from the bottom-up. Invest in developing cricket for poorer communities. I wouldn't want to be in a fringe black player's shoes, having his merit questioned every single second. This is also symptomatic of a much greater problem: SA has never bothered to invest in popularizing the game across the country (part of the reason they seem to be at the mercy of the bcci)

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    Well they lost Wagner due to the quota system. CSA asked him several times to come back iirc (Howsie might have supplied this info?) but he turned them down because he wanted to pay for a country where he was selected on merit.

    When the likes of Ntini can play 100 tests I don't think you need a quota system. I can't see state sides excluding a player with a high ceiling due to being black these days, though I might be very mistaken, but the quality appears to be coming through. The lack of black players might be down to popularity more than anything - iirc there were stats a while back showing football and the like were huge amongst the black population?
    Last edited by Flem274*; 05-10-2013 at 12:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    Well they lost Wagner due to the quota system. CSA asked him several times to come back iirc (Howsie might have supplied this info?) but he turned them down because he wanted to pay for a country where he was selected on merit.

    When the likes of Ntini can play 100 tests I don't think you need a quota system. I can't see state sides excluding a player with a high ceiling due to being black these days, though I might be very mistaken, but the quality appears to be coming through. The lack of black players might be down to popularity more than anything - iirc there were stats a while back showing football and the like were huge amongst the black population?
    IIRC pretty much the entire soccer team is ethnically African.
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