Very interesting thread and quite a few valid points. I think we cannot underestimate the financial barrier to cricket, or sport, in general in SA. When you see people earning a pittance, you often ask yourself " how do they live?" and I can assure you that playing for the national team in any sport is the furthest thing from their mind.They just want to get by IMO.
I love cricket and played it from the age of 7 with my brothers and neighborhood kids and learnt all the ideas and nuisances at an early age, but it wasn't possible to play club cricket in my community. There was a club but how do you go up to your parents who earned minimum wage, enough just to keep bread on the table, for money to a "luxury"? A new bat? what's that? my brothers and I would take a piece of plank and often carve out a bat. We would take tennis balls and wrap it up in tape. Use a bin as the stumps and the road as your field.
Most players come from a handful of schools.
Out of the white guys in the current side, Morkel and Steyn went to pretty 'ordinary schools', while Smith went to KES (same school as De Kock, Steven Cook, Neil McKenzie), Kallis went to Wynberg Boys, and Du Plessis and De Villiers went to Affies in Pretoria. These are all 'elite' schools, and the vast majority of white SA Test cricketers would have come from a pool of probably 20 schools.
I believe the situation in the UK is the same, most Test players will have come from private schools, with good facilities and so on. I don't think it is an isolated phenomenon in South Africa.
To me it is an excuse because a large percentage of Indian, Pakistan, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi cricketers grow up in a poor environment and have to get creative playing cricket in the streets.
Afterall most most young people in South Africa learn the basics of the game, playing on road tarmac or in a bumpy park with a piece of wood or as good as and tennis ball till about 9 or 10 years of age. I also agree that are we alone in that good schools produce cricketers, I'm sure England, Australia , New Zealand, India and Sri Lanka have the same.
Last edited by SeamUp; 08-01-2014 at 05:08 AM.
While it may be an excuse for some and not for others, then interest levels in the sport need to be looked at in whatever way because that is another reason because I've said cricket can be played in a very simplistic manner with not much just for enjoyment levels at 6,7,8,9,10,11 years of age.
As I have said whether you are coloured like Vernon Philander, white like Dale Steyn or black like Mfuneko Ngam they all got scouted in less privileged schools because they had the talent.
Rasimione's problem is when talented black cricketers get scouted in disadvantaged areas and get scholarships to go to good schools. I think this is a positive step and kudos to these less advantaged youngsters who are getting themselves into situations to show their talents whatever held them back. Makhaya Ntini never held a normal cricket ball until he was scouted by a guy called Raymond Booi who is still to this day scouting for Black African talent in the Eastern Cape. It is not like steps haven't been made.
Last edited by SeamUp; 08-01-2014 at 05:45 AM.
Dude! I am Coloured but my family, extended family and community is such a mish-mash of racial and cultural diversity, I sometimes have to take a timeout to remember that I am "Coloured".Originally Posted by Marius
Its been 20 years since since the dawn of democracy in our country and things have definitely changed...the most notable being issues revolving around race, ethnicity and culture. Where previously a system seeked to subjugate people's by classifying them, we now have taken ownership of those label's - once so repugnant - and made them our own investing them with context, meaning, pride and identity. So when I say I am Coloured, it has significance for me and others beyond the apartheid classification system. Similarly, when someone say's they are mixed race, it has meaning and context beyond the Apartheid classification system.
This principle is applicable to all race groups across SA. You go to Johannesburg and you call someone of mixed race/ethnicity a "Coloured" and they take offense! You go to the Western Cape and call someone of mixed ethnicity a "Mixed Race" and they will take offense.
You as an individual own your culture and identity! It does not own you!
As an example, Phylicia Oppelt, the editor of the Sunday times, refers to her self as black (hence she is very adamant and vocal about pro-transformation). You would be hard pressed to actually associate her name and visual racial make up as black but that's what she say's so that's the end of the discussion!
When you learn to see South Africa through Nelson's Mandela's eyes, you see a land of so much ethnic, racial and cultural diversity. Where previously there were just massive blobs of people stuffed into a classifications, you now have distinct racial, ethnic and cultural distinctions. For instance, white people take proud in being distinguished as Afrikaner, European, French Huguenot, Dutch where black people take proud in being Zulu, Zhosa, Venda, Sotho, Shangaan, Ndebele, etc, people of sub continent descent take pride in being Pakistani, Arabic, Indian and people in the Western cape take distinct pride in being classed as Malay, Coloured, Mixed Race, Xhosa, San or Khoi.
The biggest sport in NZ is rugby. Way back in second place is cricket. For such a small island nation, they are considered to be the rulers of world rugby which is statistically quite an accomplishment (bar a couple of vociferous objections from some saffa's). The whole country is mad about rugby and the whole countries energy is focused on producing a team that can murder any competition. While this is great for Rugby in NZ, its bad news for the Black Caps because all the best athletes in the country choose rugby over cricket. The Black Caps invariably end up with the passionate cricket lovers and second tier athletes who just didn't cut it at Rugby. This has financial consequences also because the cricket New Zealand find it hard to fill a cricket stadium but New Zealand Rugby can sell out a All Black match twice over. If you could for one second imagine the whole All Black team bringing that Economic clout, athletic capital, excellence and intensity to the Black Caps game and cricket infrastructure, do you think the NZ team would be languishing on the bottom of the ICC rankings?
This is where you can draw parallel's with SAF. The greater population are more inclined to choose soccer as an athletic outlet and this is where the parallel ends with NZ because while the choosing between rugby and cricket is a conscious choice in NZ, its not a choice in SAF because for most, cricket is not viable due to reason's stated in other posts. If you take another extreme example; a country such as India has a billion souls who are mad about cricket and has all their athletic potential invested in producing the best cricketers in the world (which they do...constantly producing some of the best batters I have seen). And then you get SAF...where the game is restricted to a select group and seeks to remain that way. If you are a logical and rational person and had your Cricket South Africa hat on, how would you go about trying to justify only investing in athletic capital from certain segments of the national population especially given our tumultuous history as a country? Does it not make sense that the bigger the talent pool you have to choose from, the more cricket exellence and economic viability you can produce?
This argument coupled with adequate national representation of the Protea's are 2 of the biggest talking points behind transformation in CSA.
The South African government divides the population into four racial categories: African, Coloured, Indian (all three of which fall under the overall classification of black), and whites.
Not arguing with you about identity and so on, but the Coloured label is still with us, like it or not.
The current government is making the same mistake as the previous one by forcing us to fit into certain racial categories.
Which African can we put into the Test team, today, that will not be completely out of their depth?
How do you think Themba Bavuma is going to do against Mitch Johnson, Siddle etc? He will be blown away.
Tsolekile is the only viable option, and now that AB is in good form with the gloves I doubt he will get a look in.
I think neither of you are in disagreement with each of your main points in that the change mustn't happen in the national team but right from the ground up.
News24, South Africa's premier news source, provides breaking news on national, world, Africa, sport, entertainment, technology & more. and then after a day count all the likes you would get. Odds are, thousands! But are they an accurate representation of the South African population? What you fail to understand is that while your article resonates with a certain segment of the population, there's the other greater majority of the population and their one eyebrow is trying to climb out their individual skulls trying to understand why CSA is dragging its feet and not getting with the national program?
Merit should trump politics everytime but South Africa is a special case. If I could put it into perspective, on one extreme, we could go the Zimbabwe cricket route and forcefully implement national representation in the team, or we can pursue the other extreme, remove the SAF flag and representation from the Protea's team and rebrand them as "A Cricket Team in South Africa" thereby losing all rights to represent the country.
Both options are repugnant! Somehow we have to find a compromise in the middle that benefits everyone!
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