Cricket Quotas: A step in the right direction

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has introduced a new quota system which aims to help develop ‘black African’ players in the sport. The quota rule will now make it compulsory for each union to field at least one ‘black African’ cricketer in the professional team and two in semi-professional teams.

CSA chief executive, Haroon Lorgat, stated the need to “accelerate” transformation and said that unions will be compensated for unearthing those talented cricketers.

Stephane de Sakutin Makhaya Ntini, one of South Africa’s most decorated black cricketers

Stephane de Sakutin
Makhaya Ntini, one of South Africa’s most decorated black cricketers

If teams field more than the required amount of quota players, CSA will pay the salary of the player as a reward to the unions.Former Proteas top order batsmen, Peter Kirsten, supports the new quota system. “There’s been talk of this happening for too long, I’m glad it looks like something will now be done,” Kirsten said.South Africa has only had a handful of ‘black African’ cricketers that has played for the national team. Makhaya Ntini, Mfuneko Ngam, Thami Tsolekile and Lonwabo Tsotsobe are some of the names that have represented the country. But so far, there hasn’t been much progress made in transformation.The Proteas and provincial cricket teams do not reflect the country’s demographics. Most teams will have these players in the squad but they will rarely make the starting team. This new quota system will force unions and cricket clubs to give these players a platform to showcase their skills.

Geoffrey Toyana, coach of the Highveld Lions, emphasised the importance of transformation in cricket and said: “It is important for us as a nation to have a ‘black African’ playing Test cricket, so we as franchise coaches have to support and back talented ‘black African’ cricketers at franchise level.”

This new quota can only improve the level of South African cricket because the sport will now be more appealing to a large part of our population. It will mean that the pool of players in the country will be increased and this will make the sport more competitive in the long run. Once these cricketers gain experience they will definitely add value to the sport as a whole.

Brent Smith

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