Crickеt South Africa (CSA) has bееn criticizеd for not mееting its “transformational targеts” bеcausе only onе black African playеr, Kagiso Rabada and is includеd in thе T20 World Cup squad.Thе 15 man squad has six playеrs of color including Rabada. CSA’s policy rеquirеs that ovеr a sеason six playеrs of color should bе in thе South African tеam, with at lеast two bеing black Africans. With Rabada as thе only black African in thе squad, thе national tеam will miss this targеt.

The other players of color in the squad are Reeza Hendricks, Bjorn Fortuin, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Ottniel Baartman. Lungi Ngidi, another black African, is one of the traveling reserves but is not part of the main squad. ODI captain Temba Bavuma was also not picked for the World Cup, which starts on June 2 in the USA and the West Indies.

Former South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula questioned the squad’s composition, saying the decision to include only one black African does not represent all South Africans in the World Cup squad.

Former Officials and Coaches Debate South Africa’s Cricket Selection Process

“Only one African player was selected for the Proteas team for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024. This is definitely a reversal of the gains of transformation and does not reflect fair representation of all South Africans in the national cricket team,” Mbalula wrote on X.

Former CSA and ICC president Ray Mali expressed concerns, stating that the game is regressing in South Africa.

“I believe a lot has been achieved, but we have taken a step backward in terms of cricket – we are not progressing,” Mali told SABC Sport.

“I cannot understand why we can’t have a larger number of black players in the South African cricket team at this day and age – it is not acceptable. We have betrayed the people who asked us to negotiate unity for this country. Players are mentored and monitored from their early days to the top, so you know which players will represent South Africa.”

Mali also called for a selection committee to return and spoke against one man picking the squad in a diverse country like South Africa. Currently, CSA lacks a committee of selectors; the team is selected by head coaches Shukri Conrad (Tests) and Rob Walter (ODI and T20Is). Walter defended the 15 players chosen for the ICC event in the Americas next month, saying the domestic circuit lacks the depth to assemble a more diverse team.

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