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Ken Borland

Lorgat defends lack of T20GL transformation quotas 0

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Ken


Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat on Monday defended the absence of transformation quotas in the T20 Global League, saying it was a risk that had paid off with 55 players of colour amongst the 144 players chosen in the draft, including 19 Black Africans.

“We did debate having targets but we decided not to because we have a bottom-up approach with our hubs and schools. It was a risk but we want to see our players come through naturally and it was very pleasing to see Black players chosen as some of the best-paid by people who had no compulsion to do so.

“It shows that our system is working, foreign coaches wanting those players is what we are aiming for. We will not relent in terms of our development of Black players either, because your market is where your majority is and you don’t have to be a professor of economics to understand that. We’re doing it the hard way, from the bottom up,” Lorgat said on Monday.

The CEO and tournament director Russell Adams announced the fixtures for the T20 Global League on Monday in Cape Town, with 57 games being played over six weeks. With each team playing the other seven franchises home and away, that means there will be no playoffs but the top two teams after the league phase will go straight into the final at the Wanderers on Saturday, December 16.

With Johannesburg guaranteed the final for the foreseeable future, it means Cape Town will host the opening game, between the Knight Riders and the Pretoria Mavericks, on Friday, November 3, at least this year.

“In future the opening match will be played at the home of the winners of the previous year’s tournament. We also had a big debate about where to stage the final, but there are logistical challenges around having it in Cape Town around December 16 – there’s the World Sevens Series tournament and everyone is on holiday.

“Wanderers has a bigger capacity and there are more flights and accommodation available in Johannesburg. And we are looking to make the final at one host venue a fixture of the tournament which means people can do their planning, they can even make their bookings for the Wanderers on December 16, 2020,” Lorgat said.

“We also had debates about playoffs and semi-finals, but the league is the reason for the competition and we wanted to reward the two best sides with a place in the final, otherwise a team could come through at the expense of someone who’s had a great league season.”

CSA to raise quotas 0

Posted on May 06, 2016 by Ken


Johannesburg-raised Grant Elliott, the star of New Zealand’s World Cup semi-final victory over South Africa on Tuesday, was a refugee from the quota system and there are fears of a fresh exodus of players after it was revealed Cricket South Africa (CSA) will raise the targets for players of colour and Black African cricketers for next season.

CSA’s plan to increase the number of players of colour required to feature in all franchise cricket to six from next season, including at least three Black Africans, and to make the quota seven players of colour, including four Black Africans, in the semi-professional teams has been slammed by the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and the franchises, not least of all because they were not consulted before the announcement was made after they had done almost all of their contracting already for next season.

“We’re very unhappy, not with the decision itself because we represent all players and stay out of transformation decisions, but with the way it was done,” Tony Irish, the SACA chief executive, told The Citizen on Tuesday. “Our agreement with CSA requires them to consult with us and the franchises before doing things like that, and they have to do it before the franchise window for contracts starts on January 1.

“But they did this with two weeks left in the three-month window for transfers and 90% of the franchise contracts have been finalised based on the old numbers from last season. It means that players with contracts won’t be playing and the players that are playing won’t have contracts.”

The move, the second increase in the quota in successive seasons, will also have serious consequences for the pipeline of talent in South Africa because it effectively means that each union can only offer regular first-class cricket to 9 white players every season. Talented players on the fringes of their franchise sides like George Linde, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Daryn Smit, Calvin Savage, Duanne Olivier, Quinton Friend, Devon Conway, Sean Jamison, JP de Villiers, Shaun von Berg, Jon-Jon Smuts and David White could find themselves relegated to club cricket.

Players who have piqued the interest of the national selectors like Marchant de Lange, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Corne Dry, Hardus Viljoen and Heino Kuhn could find themselves languishing in semi-professional cricket.

“This is exactly why consultation is so important, but CSA have completely disregarded us despite the agreements being clear. We are considering our options,” Irish said.

CSA spokesman Altaaf Kazi confirmed they had received a letter from SACA and “we are aware of their concerns and they are being addressed by the board”.

Elliott’s winning hand for New Zealand has once again put the spotlight on how much international-calibre talent South Africa loses, making a balanced, well thought-out response to the demands of transformation a necessity.

Hockey’s junior stars are talented & transformed 0

Posted on May 03, 2016 by Ken


The South African men’s U21 team played in the final of the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals in Randburg on Saturday, showing that there is plenty of young talent coming through the ranks. But they are also thoroughly transformed with eight players of colour in the squad, including six Black Africans, showing that hockey is heading away from the representivity frustrations that have dogged them in the past.

And while “quotas” is a word bandied about by the older generation, it is not a hip word when it comes to hockey’s rising young talent.

“It hasn’t been difficult at all to find players of colour for the team because these guys have come through the age-groups, they’ve played together in the U16s and U18s, where there is a heck of a lot of good quality. The core of this side have played Tests together for the SA U18s and made the Junior Olympics semi-finals with the SA U17s, both under Neville Rothman, my assistant coach.

“So there are no quota – I hate that word – players in the team. They were all born after 1995 and have played in every national team together, so there is no baggage. They say it themselves in team meetings that the colour of your skin makes no difference. There’s a very positive feeling in this squad, there’s such a positive culture,” SA U21 coach Garreth Ewing said.

The players of colour in the current squad that is beating seasoned professionals at the senior IPT are composed midfielder Tyson Dlungwana, defender Nduduza Lembethe, Ryan Julius, an elusive runner with the ball, forward Khumo Mokale, the skilful Nqobile Ntuli, pacy Tevin Kok, solid Amkelwa Letuka and goalkeeper Siyavuya Nolutshungu, and they would comfortably be playing in this IPT for their provincial sides were they not on national duty.

“Obviously we do pay close attention to the players of colour, but a lot of them are our best players. Some of them are going to be superstars. They have a long way to go, but their ability and decision-making under pressure is already so good. I can’t wait to see where they all go, six of them already have full national caps,” Ewing said.

Ewing, who has considerable experience coaching both locally and internationally, clearly likes the emphasis on bringing through players of colour that has to be there if South African hockey are to get back to where they want to be – in the upper echelons of the world game.

“What is coming through underneath shows that there is so much potential. We’re not afraid of targets, we embrace them. Things don’t happen overnight, but we’re getting there. The guys play with such joy and style, their hockey is so attractive,” Ewing said.

Most encouragingly, Black coaches are also starting to come through. The losing semi-finalists, KZN Raiders and the Northerns Blues, are coached by Sihle Ntuli and Krinesan Moodley respectively. WP Peninsula are coached by Denzil Dolley and the team they played in the B Section final, KZN Mynahs, are mentored by Sharmin Naidoo

Patrick Tshutshani is Ewing’s counterpart with the junior women, Ryan Pillay coached the Western Province women’s team and even the Mpumalanga women’s team have a Black African coach in Brighty Mshaba.

Numerous other players of colour have shone with Jermaine Johnson and Julian Hykes both playing key roles in getting Southern Gauteng into the men’s final, while Pierre de Voux of Western Province and KZN’s Mohamed Mea are two newer players that are going to have the national selectors’ eyes on them.

The story is the same in the women’s section: Southern Gauteng are going to take on Northerns Blues in the final with Sanani Mangisa their stalwart in goal and Toni Marks and Lisa Hawker two of their man threats up front.

Northerns have Mmatshepo Modipane in goal.

But there is a challenge that SA Hockey will need outside help to overcome and, as ever, it is a financial one.

“The financial challenges for the previously disadvantaged players is huge. Consider the cost of going to our world cup – and the players have to pay! My biggest fear is having to leave someone behind because they can’t afford it,” Ewing says sombrely.

Walter sees quality depth & no extra pressure for Titans 0

Posted on July 01, 2014 by Ken

While some critics are warning that Cricket South Africa’s new increased “targets” for players of colour – and specifically Black Africans – will curdle the milk of domestic cricket, Unlimited Titans coach Rob Walter says the new quotas won’t place him under extra pressure when it comes to selection in the season ahead.

Franchises will now be required to field at least five players of colour in all competitions, two of whom must be Black Africans, an increase of one for 2014/15.

The Titans have only contracted three Black Africans – pacemen Junior Dala and Ethy Mbhalati and wicketkeeper/batsman Mangaliso Mosehle – for next season, alongside six other players of colour – Qaasim Adams, Farhaan Behardien, Henry Davids, Eden Links, Rowan Richards and Tabraiz Shamsi.

“We have quality depth in all positions and we’re not sitting around thinking we’re going to be under pressure because of the new requirements. In fact we have to find a way of playing all these guys. A lot of our players of colour are actually pushing for places in the national side and they’re all there entirely on merit,” Walter said at the weekend during the launch of the new IXU brand of cricket equipment, for which he is an ambassador.

While there will obviously be more pressure on Mosehle, Mbhalati and Dala to perform, Walter said he thinks the added expectation will bring out the best in them.

“I have massive faith in Mangi. He’s had two stand-out 50-over campaigns and I’ve seen him make hundreds. In four-day cricket, he fell short last season, but I absolutely believe that he can score runs at that level.

“The pressure might actually be good for him, he’s occupying a hugely important position in four-day cricket. That number six/seven position has been key to many of the Proteas’ successes in recent years.

“Junior Dala has worked unbelievably hard in the off season after not having the best start to his Titans’ career, but we saw flashes of what he can do. He can bowl quickly and he’s clearly got something. Ethy was always going to be around anyway for another season, but having Junior in the squad has pushed him and he’s been working very hard,” Walter said.

With David Wiese, Marchant de Lange and Richards also being key bowlers, and JP de Villiers and Vincent Moore in reserve, Walter is confident the Titans have the attack to win trophies next season, but he is hoping his senior batsmen dish up many more runs than in 2013/14.

“I think Rowan is going to do great things, he has pace and he’s a left-hander, it was just sad that he was injured last season; Marchant is doing nicely and he delivered some real heat when he played at the end of last season; and David was unbelievable with the new ball and showed real skill. So all of a sudden the seam attack looks very good, plus JP has come a long way and Vince Moore bowled particularly well in the four games he played.

“But first and foremost what we need to improve is the performances of our senior players. We’ve added Dean Elgar, who will be key as another senior player, but the guys already there – Davids, Behardien, Albie Morkel, Kuhn – they’ve been performing year in, year out and I’ll be looking to them to really deliver,” Walter said.

Apart from those established batsmen, there is real talent waiting in the wings in Graeme van Buuren, Cobus Pienaar, Adams, Theunis de Bruyn and Ernest Kemm, and that meant there was cover available should there be injuries, national call-ups or loss of form.

“The great thing is that if we lose a player, it’s not the end of the world. The young guys have been performing, showing no fear and just revelling in the opportunity to play. Graeme was a standout batsman when it came to playing under pressure and that’s huge, a really great thing. Theunis showed in his first outing that he’s ready for franchise cricket and Ernest made a fifty in his second game. So depth is not something I’m worried about,” Walter said.

The Titans started training for the new season on May 1 and have been working hard on improving their skills.

“We fell short on our ability to deliver our skills so we started training earlier and have been doing that every day,” Walter said.

And the Titans will start playing competitive cricket as early as August, with the eKasi Challenge against the Highveld Lions, two three-day practice games and the Global Softech Sixes and Northerns Bash.

Titans contracted squad 2014/15: Qaasim Adams, Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Marchant de Lange, JP de Villiers, Heino Kuhn, Eden Links, Ethy Mbhalati, Albie Morkel, Mangaliso Mosehle, Cobus Pienaar, Rowan Richards, Tabraiz Shamsi, Graeme van Buuren (rookie contract), Roelof van der Merwe, Shaun von Berg, David Wiese, Jacques Rudolph (One-Day Cup only). CSA-contracted – Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel.


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