It~~s the time to abolish quota system: Bacher

Published: Friday, July 14, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesberg:Asserting that Ashwell Prince's selection as the first black captain of the Proteas for the upcoming tri-series against India and Sri lanka is based purely on merit, former South African cricket director Ali Bacher said his appointment is a clear sign that the country can now do away with the quota system.

''What his appointment indicates is that we are approaching the end of a period in South African cricket where there was affirmative action and quotas, which was necessary,'' Dr Bacher wrote in his column for 'BBC Sport'.

''Ashwell Prince has been picked because he is the best leader of the national team at this particular time,'' he added.

Dr Bacher said Ashwell, who came to the team through the quota system but cemented his place with some good performances, would be an inspiration for the other black people of South Africa to move forward and grab the opportunities available for them in the ''new democracy.'' ''They now know that if you've got the determination, the focus and the potential, you can make it to the top and ultimately captain your country,'' he said.

Describing the political transformation in the country as miraculous, Dr Bacher said Prince was identified as a potential leader by former captain Shaun Pollock and assured that the new skipper would get all the support from his teammates.

''He is highly respected within the team, focused, disciplined and a deep thinker of the game. Shaun (Pollock) thought that if his batting remained consistently good by international standards, he could become the first ever black South African cricket captain,'' Dr Bacher revealed.

Admitting that the task ahead was not easy for Prince, Dr Bacher, said the left-hander will be up against some tough opposition, he would rise to the occasion.

''They are going to Sri Lanka and touring there is not easy, particularly when you're up against an extraordinary genius like their spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan.

''But you watch him play and he's calm and cool under pressure and he did particularly well against the Australians last summer, and you don't get more pressure than that,'' Dr Bacher said.

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