The Cost of Transformation in SA Cricket

South African cricket always seems to be part of some controversy. At the moment there are rumours going around that Norman Arndse’s job is on the line. There is talk that a vote of no confidence will be given against him tomorrow. The SA team manager and Vice president of CSA has flown back for an emergency meeting to be held tomorrow. 

Arendse vetoed the squad sent to Bangladesh 3 times before Majola stamped his approval on the same squad. The government has come out and backed Arendse indicating that there should be more black players in the squad. Some would say that is fair enough there are only 4 out of 14 BUT what is the point of taking 6 players of colour when only 3 are going to play? Yes there is exposure to the international arena but surely it is better to stay behind and participate in the local league keeping match fit?
 
The only player that was unlucky to be left out was Monde Zondeki, he had a fantastic season and is really pushing for a place in the national side. He is developing and maturing as a fast bowler and should really have been picked and possibly been chosen before Ntini. However that said SA would then had 3 inexperienced youngsters opening the attack. Zondeki wouldn’t be able to replace Steyn who is now the second best bowler in the world nor Morkel who is not only developing in to a great bowler but also as an all-rounder.
  
What is sad to see if the governments point of view, the whole article can be accessed here. These are chilling extracts from Komphela who chairs the Ministry of Sport and Recreation’s Portfolio Committee. Whilst  commenting on the criticism received by Arendse he said it is “an attack on transformation in cricket”.

He also went on to say: “We must build this country through unity and through sport, we have all seen how united this country becomes as soon as one national team wins. All of us, even the president (Thabo Mbeki), supported the Springboks when they won the World Cup. People asked me ‘why’ and I said ‘they might be white, probably by accident, but they are South Africans, it doesn’t make them lesser South Africans.’
 
“But our agenda is to tell them to transform and that is not going to stop. We are unapologetic about that because the truth is very simple: we all need to feel like we have a place in the national team.”

“We are committed to having a free and fair South Africa without fear – we don’t want to create a Kenya or a Zimbabwe here – but there is a section of the community that pushes us to the limit and tries to make us regret what Nelson Mandela has done for this country, and we don’t want to regret that,” said Komphela.

“We are pleading with them not to push us that far. People say sport should not be political. Sport has always been political in South Africa, it has been used as a guillotine for black people. Now we want sport to unite people and not be what it was before.”

It will be an interesting day tomorrow, to see whether Arendse can survive the chop after appealing to the government. At the end of the day the side is one that is becoming more racially balanced but is at the moment built on merit. Every player deserves to be there, regardless of colour and there is no doubt the JP Duminy and Zondeki will soon stake their places in the team.