JOHANNESBURG – In a move that would have been more of making the obvious official, the transformation targets have been set for the South African national cricket team, the Proteas. The targets require the national team to play an average minimum of 54% black players and average minimum of 18% black African players over the season.
CSA president, Chris Nenzani had this to say, “What is encouraging is that the Proteas, who are our flag bearers, are already achieving these targets and in some cases exceeding the targets we have just set.
“ The Test starting XI that played in the recent Test series against New Zealand contained six players of colour and two Black Africans and the ODI starting XI had as many as eight players of colour (73%) in their most recent series against the West Indies and Australia, while the South Africa ‘A’ side had nine players of colour in the starting XI that beat the Australia National Performance Squad by nine wickets in the final match of their quadrangular series in Australia last week.
“ With the targets being measured over the full season and being cumulative across all three formats, our selectors and team management will have the flexibility to deal with varying circumstances.
Nenzani went on to say, “This shows very clearly that the targets are very attainable and sustainable and we will maintain the world-class standards that our players regularly produce.”
Perhaps the fact that the targets will not be imposed on every match the Proteas play but rather calculated on an average basis over the season just about gives the selectors less of a headache as they can balance things out and then compensate at a later stage.
Minister of Sports Fikile Mbalula has made no secret of how serious the issue of transformation and meeting the targets set is, and a sound warning of withdrawing all the major sporting bodies from hosting any major events if they don’t meet the targets was sent by the minister, and perhaps CSA are the first to buckle under the pressure with a possible 2018 T20 World Cup on the cards.
As much as it seems possible for now to meet the targets with enough quality to compete against the best in the world, the unpredictable nature of the game also lies in the future. If injuries would occur to key members in the set-up do we have enough depth to still remain competitive? Will we have to sacrifice merit for targets in the future and could the fast tracking just be too much for the players?
The future still lies in the masses that are ignored in small areas and transformation takes time and if carefully planned it could be beneficial to all.