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Ken Borland


Geopolitical boundaries likely to be used in SA cricket

Posted on December 13, 2014 by Ken

Residents of Gauteng have become accustomed to three different cricket unions – the Gauteng Cricket Board, Northerns Cricket Union and Easterns Cricket Union – controlling the game in the province, but this is likely to change as Cricket South Africa accede to Sascoc’s demand that the sport be administered along the same lines as the geopolitical boundaries of the country.

People in the Cape can expect the same change as Eastern Province, Border and Kei will need to merge into a single Eastern Cape controlling body, while Western Province, Boland and South-Western Districts will need to do the same in the Western Cape.

That change is along already-existing franchise lines, and KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Northern Cape (Griqualand West team) will be in a similar position. But Gauteng will need to reorganise itself because there are two franchises – the Highveld Lions and Titans – based in that province.

CSA chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat confirmed that the change is in the offing, but added that they can still keep their same franchise and competition structure.

“That’s the next big thing we are planning, we might have to change the demarcations of our unions to mirror the geopolitical boundaries. But we can still have the same franchises and semi-professional teams and it won’t affect our competitions.

“But we’ll need to have nine controlling bodies from each of the provinces. So the Lions and Titans can still play and be run as separate teams, but they’ll need to have an overall Gauteng board above them,” Lorgat explained to The Citizen at the announcement of Momentum’s R475 000 backing of the academy at the University of Fort Hare in Alice.

Lorgat was critical of government’s support for grassroots development at that function but said the new geopolitically-aligned structure can improve the relationship between CSA and the state.

“It can be beneficial because then the unions can go to provincial government as one entity. I think it will help because then the provincial government is just dealing with one board. At the moment, the Titans, Lions and Easterns all go to the Gauteng provincial government for assistance and maybe they don’t know who to help?” Lorgat said.

At the moment, government expects CSA to fill their teams with previously disadvantaged players, but offers scant support in terms of the infrastructure that is essential to achieving that. Even the academy at Fort Hare, in the heartland of Black African cricket, has received nothing from the state.

“People think transformation is about black and white, but in my view Lance Klusener and Dale Steyn are both transformation products because they come from remote, rural areas. If it wasn’t for these programs, like our joint venture at the University of Fort Hare, then these jewels would not be found. We have not yet unlocked the potential in our country,” Lorgat said.

 

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