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T20 World Cup 2024: CSA criticised for picking only one black African in squad

South Africa T20 world Cup Kit 2024. (Source -Twitter/X)

Cricket South Africa (CSA) is facing the heat after selecting only one black African player, Kagiso Rabada, in the Proteas squad for the T20 World Cup 2024. Former South Africa Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula and former CSA chief Ray Mali expressed their concerns, saying the game has regressed in the country.

The provisional 15-man squad features six players of colour, including Rabada. CSA’s policy requires that over a season, six players of colour should be in the South African playing eleven, with at least two from the black African community. With Rabada being the only black African in the squad, the national team is set to fall short of this requirement.

The other players of colour in the squad are Reeza Hendricks, Bjorn Fortuin, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Ottniel Baartman. Lungi Ngidi, another black African, is one of the travelling reserves but is not part of the main squad. ODI captain Temba Bavuma could not find a place in the T20 World Cup side, starting from June 2 in the USA and the West Indies.

“Only one African player selected in 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 his ‘X’ handle.

Also Read: West Indies set to host South Africa, England and Bangladesh in 2024

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. 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 told SABC Sport.

Also Read: Cricket South Africa bids adieu to women’s coach Hilton Moreeng after remarkable 11-year tenure at helm

Mali also suggested that the selection committee must return instead of one person picking the team in a diverse country like South Africa. Currently, CSA does not have a committee of selectors. The team is picked by head coaches Shukri Conrad (Tests) and Rob Walter (ODI and T20Is).

Meanwhile, Walter defended the 15 players chosen for next month’s ICC event, saying that the domestic circuit in the Rainbow Nation does not have adequate depth to assemble a more diverse team.

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