Durban: The United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) has defended its decision to lift the race quota for the selection of national and senior provincial teams.
The UCBSA was responding to threats by the ruling ANC youth organisation to wreck next year's World Cup tournament in South Africa if sufficient black African players are not included in the national team. The ANC Youth League has called for a meeting with Sports Minister Ngconde Balfour after stating that it was 'sad and shameful' of the UCBSA to lift the quota system.
The Youth League said in a statement, "It is a sad and shameful reflection that merely eight years into our democratic transformation we still have only two African players who are not even regulars in the national team, and the UCBSA decides to unceremoniously close the chapter in the transformation of cricket. "The ANC Youth League finds the UCBSA decision to concentrate resources only 'in areas where the game is traditionally strong' as a plain and deliberate way of excluding the previously disadvantaged from the game.
"Without African participation in the game there will be no Cricket World Cup in South Africa. We will vigilantly defy and mobilise all our forces to disrupt it to make sure it does not succeed. This is our promise." Cassim Docrat, a senior executive of the UCBSA and CEO of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union (KCU), said in an interview on Wednesday that the decision to lift the quota at national levels was taken after it was considered that sufficient transformation had taken place for black players to be included at national levels. "Our decision does not mean that transformation ends," he said.
"We believe that there are enough players of colour who could stake a claim for selection. It is now up to all role players to ensure that more and more black players are brought into the system. "We want to give an assurance that no national or senior provincial team will take the field without sufficient number of players. We as officials are determined to ensure that the transformation continues to take place so that our teams represent the demographics of the country."
Meanwhile, the Sports Minister is scheduled to hold talks with UCBSA president Percy Sonn and UCBSA CEO Gerald Majola, in Pretoria on Wednesday about the latest developments. The Minister said he wants to get a clear explanation about the UCBSA decision.