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Thread: The case of the missing black Test cricketer

  1. #16
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    Articles like the one Marius supplied are not novel. Its an opinion/viewpoint/report that stems from rose tinted glasses...suckled by the breasts of economic prosperity and privilege. In South Africa, there are a lot of issues that remind us of our political past but sports like cricket is a grim reminder of the divide between the "Have's" and the "Have not's".

    Alot of people most probably read Marius article and thought to themselves that everything is hunky-dory in SA cricket? The fact is, when you come stand on my side of the railway lines, its not so pretty. Alot of people criticize from a point of ignorance not understanding the drivers of contentious issues such as "quota's".

    Firdose Moonda and Telford Vice are journalists...trained to look at all issues from different perspectives and report facts...sometimes painful ones at that. When they write their articles, they most probably saw children such as myself who grew up in ghetto's, who use to play and love cricket...thought to himself he was Brian Lara (the right hand version of course), begged mom to play for a cricket club, to show up in Saturday morning on match day in my wannabe cricket whites, second hand sneakers to big and with a couple of holes, a very rickety bat and no protection only to have the other children from upper suburbia stare and laugh at you for looking funny! Then to have mum tell you that you can't play anymore and being so upset with her only to realize later in life that it was either starve or play cricket and be thankful that there was something to eat because there were millions of other Saffa's who didn't even have that. That was 20 years ago. Why is it that when I go to that same ghetto and street, I'm seeing history repeating itself? Nothing's changed!

    There's only 2 ways that this is quota business is gonna go down...

    Either the "Rainbow nation" is gonna get shoved down CSA's throat kicking and screaming, or CSA and its principles can choose to join the process and so contribute to a shared vision for a representative CSA. I would really like it do be the latter choice because then CSA will have a hand in directing the process. Speaking from experience, when AA and BEE was shoved down people's throats, it turned out to be a political **** storm with far reaching negative consequences that will most probably reverberate through the South African landscape for the next generation or two. I really don't want that for the Protea's because I love my team and I want them to succeed but if people are going ask me to choose between the prosperity of my country vs. cricket, there's only gonna be one obvious loser!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasimione View Post
    I can assure you that cricket is well loved by All races but the barrier to entry for black africans is no myth. Currently i work at a college and me and a lecturer freind of mine started a cricket team for the students. Some if the challenges are really sad to hear. Because of group areas act most blacks in my community live away from town so if we want to organise extra training it means this kids need money for transport to use facilities in town. Money their parents dont have. Yes i agree that facilities mean nothing and do not translate to grass root participation but then white people had a choice to play whatever sport they wanted because they had countless facilities. atleast let us have the same opportunities to pick and choose. Also Seam Up aluded to guys like Rabada and the upcoming talents. But again all those guys either have rich black parents or their there because of scholarships. This shows that the system of elitism will continue till jesus comes. Sad really. I love cricket very much. No one taught it to me but because i loved it, i taught myself by endlessly watching test cricket on SABC. There are countless people just like me really interested in this sport.
    Dude! You can't use the phrase "till jesus comes"! Its copyrighted to Jacob Zuma

  2. #17
    Cricketer Of The Year hendrix's Avatar
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    I've always found it strange to differentiate between "black" and "coloured". Do mixed race people occupy a different social strata than black people?

    Are blacks less likely to identify with Vernon Philander than they are Makhaya Ntini? I suppose there are some obvious differences in the names there. Does Philander's mother or father (whoever is black) identify as black? Or are his parents both mixed race?

    It's a bit different here because even a person who's 1/8th Maori may identify as Maori. Noone really calls themselves "mixed race" in terms of identity.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGee View Post
    Yeah, I agree. Awesome thread.
    one of the better threads we've had.
    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    I got great enjoyment in going to the game and shouting "WHY THE **** ISN'T THIS GAME BEING PLAYED AT THE BASIN?!>!?!?" to reasonably significant cheers from the sparse crowd
    Proudly against the bring back Bennett movement since he is injury prone and won't last 5 days.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    I've always found it strange to differentiate between "black" and "coloured". Do mixed race people occupy a different social strata than black people?

    Are blacks less likely to identify with Vernon Philander than they are Makhaya Ntini? I suppose there are some obvious differences in the names there. Does Philander's mother or father (whoever is black) identify as black? Or are his parents both mixed race?

    It's a bit different here because even a person who's 1/8th Maori may identify as Maori. Noone really calls themselves "mixed race" in terms of identity.
    You would need to go back to the days of Apartheid to understand the distinction. Suffice to say, the hierarchy of social rights were: White > Asian > Indian/coloured/mixed race > black. Basic rights were appropriated based on where you were located within the racial chain.

    The term "coloured" is a colloquial term used to define a group of people based on a cultural distinction (those of Malay, Pakistani, Indian descent whose ancestors were the first slaves brought to SA in the 1600/1700's) whose ancestors inter-married with the native Khoi and San peoples of the Cape Province. Mixed race are for those people who are of mixed white/black/asian/indian/coloured descent/heritage (a racial mongrel if I were to be vulgar). Black refers to the Native Bantu tribes that were native to the SA landscape before the advent of the first European colonizers.

    Because of the Apartheid group areas act, racial groups were kept separated from one another hence issues/feelings of racism, marginalization and segregation were not homogeneous across racial groups. That means, black people such as Makhaya Ntini are less likely to identify with coloured people such as Vernon Philander and a person such as Hashim Amla of Indian descent is less likely to identify with black or coloured. Of course, all these issues fall under the big umbrella that was Apartheid but I wouldn't be able to explain the distinction because the subject is to complex to convey in a written post.

    Vernon's parents are coloured. He might have black/white ancestors somewhere in the family tree but only he will know. He will most probably refer to himself as "Coloured" but issues of race and ethnicity being a hot tempered subject, I wouldn't be surprised if he just fore went the whole racial classification and just referred to himself as "South African".
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  5. #20
    Cricketer Of The Year hendrix's Avatar
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    Ah I see, so in the case of Philander there's a reason why he wouldn't identify as white or black.

    What I find strange about it is that there must be people with one black and one white parent. They're suddenly part of a social distinction that neither of their parents belong to. They're apparently neither white nor black, despite having a black parent and a white parent!

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    What I find strange about it is that there must be people with one black and one white parent. They're suddenly part of a social distinction that neither of their parents belong to. They're apparently neither white nor black, despite having a black parent and a white parent!
    This is a common occurrence in the new South Africa. Many of them would refer to themselves as "Mixed race" but I like the other term better... "Born Free's"... a heritage devoid of labels.
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  7. #22
    International Coach HeathDavisSpeed's Avatar
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    Now I'm wondering, based on some of the above posts whether the issue for South Africans is more of a socioeconomic one rather than a racial one. Obviously the two have some very strong and direct correlation, but it sounds like access to resources and facilities is a huge challenge. Based on Rasimione's post, it sounds like the doors can be opened to 'priviliged' Black Africans. Are the doors equally shut to whites in poor socioeconomic groups (I assume there are some?).

    It's also interesting to note that participation in cricket from blacks in the UK seems to have decreased markedly since the 1980s. I'm not sure if there's a parallel here or not, but I also get the feeling that participation has decreased in the West Indies as well, and the Kenyan team seems to have declined substantially since the late 90s. Is there an even wider issue which also needs to be addressed?
    indiaholic likes this.
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  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unomaas View Post
    This is a common occurrence in the new South Africa. Many of them would refer to themselves as "Mixed race" but I like the other term better... "Born Free's"... a heritage devoid of labels.
    Yeah, but say for example that this person's mother was black and spoke her native tongue, and raised her child to speak the language and understand the culture, shouldn't they also have the right to identify as say Zulu? And to be identified by others as Zulu?

    Say their father taught them how to drink tea! (kidding), shouldn't they also be able to identify as white?

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hendrix View Post
    Yeah, but say for example that this person's mother was black and spoke her native tongue, and raised her child to speak the language and understand the culture, shouldn't they also have the right to identify as say Zulu? And to be identified by others as Zulu?

    Say their father taught them how to drink tea! (kidding), shouldn't they also be able to identify as white?
    This is the new South Africa and you have the right to identify yourself as anything you want. I would however recommend against it certain instances...e.g., walking into Orania (the last bastion of apartheid in SA) and announcing you are white (which is contrary to your skin colour). You would most probably get a ton of hot lead up your @rse

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
    Now I'm wondering, based on some of the above posts whether the issue for South Africans is more of a socioeconomic one rather than a racial one. Obviously the two have some very strong and direct correlation, but it sounds like access to resources and facilities is a huge challenge. Based on Rasimione's post, it sounds like the doors can be opened to 'priviliged' Black Africans. Are the doors equally shut to whites in poor socioeconomic groups (I assume there are some?).
    In SA, perception and fact tend to be construed as one. Most of our politics is driven by race. Me and you can have a debate discussing the nuances of socio-econimic drivers vs. racial drivers but come to South Africa and the difference becomes immaterial. Remember, you are not dealing with a first world citizenry. If you want to see an extreme end result to this debate, all you need to do is take a look over the border to Zimbabwe and then you will understand the challenges that CSA and cricket face in this country.

  11. #26
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    We have to be honest that Cricket has never been a popular sport in South Africa. Mainly played and liked by the small communities of South Africa. Majority of South African's who are of the black community only prefer Soccer.

  12. #27
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    I think one thing we should get clear here is that unfortunately wherever there has been colonisation there has been poor treatment of indigenous people and South Africa was just the breaking point and highlighted more than other places for obvious reasons. But wrongs were done the world over.

    Then white cricketers were known to be standing up to the government during apartheid but the Afrikaans government then couldn't give two ****s especially about English-speaking dominated sport. The likes Eddie Barlow and Ali Bacher and his teammates tried things in vein to show their disappointment with the government. But in the end we lost out on 20 years of international cricket due to damn politicians what they brought on our country.

    On the issue that Heath Davis brings up. Definitely are poor white people around and go to less privileged schools but I think the issue here for a lot of less privileged blacks is the speed of the growth for them into the middle class blacks category. Loads of black government officials and their families are filling their pockets and living the high lives (not a simple middle class life) and sending their kids to good schools while the poor remain where they are. So there is a huge gap in the black African race. Because to go to a top school in SA you don't need to be stinking rich, you can do it if you are middle-class.

    I think if we look more closely at individuals....

    Tsolekile is from the Langa townships but his talent was spotted and got to go to Pinelands. Now Pinelands is a decentish school (past Protea was Craig Matthews) but it isn't on the scales of Wynberg, Rondebosch, Bishops and SACS facility wise. The reason he got this opportunity though was showing his talents even with his humble up bringings.

    Mfuneko Ngam attended a township school but his talents were still spotted and so they should have been. He was a serious talent.

    Lonwabo Tsotsobe went to Westering in PE. A school similar to Pinelands I mentioned above for Tsolekile. Definitely not in the top schools in Eastern Province.

    Makahya Ntini is a great story. But once again I say his talents were spotted in the townships by a Mr. Booi who continues to spend as much of his time in the cricket season trying to spot talents in the townships. So Ntini was afforded the privilege of going to a top school like Dale College which incidentally was a white dominated school in apartheid times but now is about at least 80% black African. Just think about the number of young black Africans getting great opportunities now at their facilities and with their coaches ? Same story for Queens College up the road where players like Tony Greig, Ken McEwan and Daryll Cullinan went to school, it is a black dominated school now.

    With the limited overs cricketers, Bosman (lower level school (Kimberley township), Tshabalala (lower level school in Welkom). Phangiso is from a township near Pretoria and went to a Christian college (CBC Pretoria). I'm not sure on the circumstances. The only one here that went to a top school was Victor Mpitsang (Grey Bloem).

    A few domestic examples again is someone like Mangaliso Mosehle from Duduza township from one of our smaller cricketing provinces (Easterns) making it to the domestic cricket and playing SA u19. Bavuma and Zondo went to good schools but someone like Mbhalati went to the same school as Dale Steyn in the little known Merensky in the Limpopo Province which has no real history in producing any cricketers at all.

    But I think the point is there are white, black, coloured, Asian cricketers making it professionally who don't necessarily go to the top schools so it can be done. For as long as cricket has been going in South Africa our top schools have produced cricketers (traditions are there) and if the most talented black cricketers from the townships get spotted and get scholarships then so be it but this is how we will hopefully get better representation down the years. I would like to think we shouldn't deprive these talents these opportunities ? That is from a sporting perspective. Politicians and government need to sort out socio-economic problems and it shouldn't get mixed up in representative sport.

    As some know, I like to follow our young talented cricketers and their performances. If I look at the most talent young black cricketers.

    Solo Nqweni (20) Grey PE
    Lesiba Ngoepe (20) Hans Moore
    Kagiso Rabada (18) St Stithians
    Ngazibini Sigwili (18) Hudson Park
    Sine Ntshona (18) St Andrews
    Sibonelo Makhanya (17) DHS
    Andile Phehlukwayo Glenwood
    Lungisani Ngidi (17) Hilton
    Lesego Senokwane (16) St Conrads
    Kabelo Sekhukhune (16) Hans Moore
    Wandile Makwetu (14) St Stithians

    * Of that bunch only Rabada, Ntshona, Ngidi and Makwetu are going to rich private schools. Traditional cricket schools like Grey PE , Hudson Park , DHS and Glenwood are payable if you are in the lower end of the middle class group even so who are we to even know if whether their parents earned their money the hard way to send their kids there ? One thing I'm glad about and that is we are seeing more talent these days like above now but just like any white (English, Afrikaans, Jewish, Portuguese, Greek, Italian), coloured or Asian (Cape Malay Muslim, Indian Muslim, Indian Christian or Indian Hindu) cricketer, it is extremely difficult to make it professionally as a cricketer in SA. Loads of competition for limited spots.

    But we mustn't forget the academies that Ngam and Ntini have started in Alice and East London now. As I say strides are being made in the right manner but these things will take time.
    Last edited by SeamUp; 08-01-2014 at 12:43 AM.
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  13. #28
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    I completely agree there has to be change, and it's got to start by giving black kids the opportunity to play.

    I think you completely missed the point of the article, which was that Moonda and Vice seem to imply that black Africans are being kept out of the team on purpose, which is clearly not the case.

    And with regard to quotas, the only black cricketer playing now who would come close to holding his own at Test level is Thami Tsolekile. No other black cricketers are Test quality at the moment. Themba Bavuma may be in a few years, as might guys like Gqamane and Eddie Leie, but right now the pool of possible Test cricketers is tiny.

    We can't put the cart before the horse

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unomaas View Post

    The term "coloured" is a colloquial term used to define a group of people based on a cultural distinction (those of Malay, Pakistani, Indian descent whose ancestors were the first slaves brought to SA in the 1600/1700's) whose ancestors inter-married with the native Khoi and San peoples of the Cape Province. Mixed race are for those people who are of mixed white/black/asian/indian/coloured descent/heritage (a racial mongrel if I were to be vulgar). Black refers to the Native Bantu tribes that were native to the SA landscape before the advent of the first European colonizers.
    Um, that is completely wrong.

    The term 'Mixed race' has no formal status in South Africa, whereas Coloured does. In general, the current government still uses the classifications that were used by the apartheid government.

    Coloured people are the descendants of European settlers, Bantu people, the Cape Malay, and the original inhabitants of the Cape, the Khoi and the San, and is still used by the government today to describe these people and their descendants.

    Mixed race people will be people who are the result of inter-racial relationships in the last, say 20 years, since the end of apartheid.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unomaas View Post
    You open your argument by stating: "I've written something about why there is no anti-black conspiracy in SA cricket, and why there is a lack of black Test cricketers."


    Snip

    You so aptly point out in your post that cricket is by far the less dominant sport in SA. I would be surprised if more than 2 million people out of a population of 55 million actually follow the sport. Lots of people in this forum comment about cricket attendance and empty stadiums. Its because the majority of the country couldn't be bothered about the sport. SA are like NZ in this regard in that we have a very small percentage of people involved in cricket and yet we are able to punch above our weight in the international arena. If you could take a time out and imagine 55 million people enthusiastic about cricket, we would have a bigger talent pool to choose from and our stadiums would be filled! If we don't get the the 80% back majority supporting or being sympathetic to SA cricket, the sport is going to die in this country! So whats more important...the continued expansion and success of the game, or the racial/quota indignation and resistance?
    I've read this about 5 times and I'm still not sure what your point is.

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