Pretoria: South Africa's cricket authorities have scrapped a controversial quota system requiring at least one black player in the national team, 'Beeld' newspaper reported Monday.
The decision, taken by the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) at the weekend, also scrapped the compulsory inclusion of at least four players of colour in the country's 11 provincial sides, the 'Afrikaans' daily said. Percy Sonn, UCBSA President said South African cricket has developed so well over the past three years that it has reached the target set for the inclusion of black players, barred by apartheid, which ended with Democratic elections in 1994, from playing in the team. "This success means that we can now with confidence move away from transformation dictated by (racial) numbers to one that's driven by ownership, a sense of responsibility and team spirit," Sonn said. In future all team members will be chosen on merit, Sonn added. "We have seen enough change to be filled with confidence that teams can be chosen on merit and that there are enough quality players of colour who can make the team on merit to ensure no senior team will be prescribed by quotas," he said. Sonn added that the transformation would continue however, with all provincial 'B' teams, and all 'B' teams lower than provincial level needing to select black players to fill 50 per cent of the positions. Racial quotas in South African cricket sparked huge debates in the country following the Protea's Test and One-day drubbing by Australia earlier this year, including dissatisfaction from many former national players, who said quota selection did not necessarily result in the best team. South Africa was allowed back as a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1991 after a 30-year absence and in the following year went to the West Indies to play a one Test series in Barbados, which it lost by 25 runs.
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