Diluting the talent?

August 2, 2016
The Titans, holders of the Sunfoil series
Has South Africa really got enough quality players to fill 12 franchises at the highest domestic level?

There is already a view we don’t have enough to fill the six we have, and that standards are declining.

This is the question that CSA needs to consider following a suggestion that the domestic four-day competition could be expanded to 12 teams. That, they feel, would expose more players to a higher level of cricket and attract fans within ‘traditional’ sporting boundaries.

In a curiously vague article at the weekend, the CEO of Cricket South Africa, Haroon Lorgat, said that ‘sweeping changes in playing structure were now a priority’. It was suggested that a new four-day competition would include more affiliates.

But, surely, that carries a serious danger of diluting the talent base? Many observers have already expressed a concern that the standard of the four-day Sunfoil series, which at present consists of six provincial franchises, is declining.

Not enough quality players are coming from the 13 SA teams in the three-day competition, which also carries first-class status. The highest level should not be a development area: it should have the cream of the crop, preparing for higher honours.

It has been widely acknowledged that the step up from franchise level to national level is too great a leap for many players, and there have been calls for more A-team tours to bridge the gap. They need it, but even the A team has not been the powerhouse it should be.

So if South Africa is now struggling to field 66 truly first-class players, who could legitimately aim for national honours, what would the landscape look like with 132 players in the field?

It is worth considering that the England system has 18 teams, and loud and long are the calls to reduce them, because they just do not have enough quality players to fill them. And they have 53-million people packed into an area about the size of the Free State.

In an enlarged system, the CSA bosses would need to ensure that there was a distribution of top talent, otherwise there would be some very strong teams against some very weak teams.

But distributing the talent could mean a few strong players carrying a lot of mediocre teammates. CSA may then have to create a superleague, to concentrate the best of the best in strength v strength competition, which really is squaring the circle.

There would be a huge financial burden too, considering that the six franchises struggle to make money in a country which has all but given up on the domestic first-class game.

It is a pity that we hear so little of the CSA’s various committees, set up with great fanfare to examine standards in the game. One was abandoned without ever sitting because of poor planning. Another, consisting of numerous ‘stakeholders’ works on (we presume) unnoticed.

It would be good to hear some concrete proposals, suggestions and ideas to increase the flow of players from schools – and not just private and former Model C schools –  throughout the country. That is the real bedrock of the future.

 



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44 comments
Chandre William Groenewald
Chandre William Groenewald

If possible all out sports should follow a draft system (like the NFL) in which the weaker teams get first choice on junior players and the stronger (richer) teams can either trade picks with them buy offering compensation and a later pick or a more expericienced players. This way strength vs strength is maintained. Look at our rugby also all the junior players go to the big 5 or overseas. What os the point of WP having 3 flyhalves the same age or the Bulls having all those centres. Talent needs to be shared equally then we could have even Boland or North West being competitive and maybe a different domestice champion each year.

Waldo Ostreline
Waldo Ostreline

We dont even have enough players to field a proper test side as only 5 whites allowed! I like thie idea that people think that you can take average players and put them in the test side and they will become greats! Piss off! The best players will rise to the top irrespective of colour . . .ntini, rabada and one or two others did it. Even at club levels there are people playing in premier leaques that dont belong there! 12 franchises would be stupid. And just creating job for 60 odd chaps not good enough to play in the current competetion

Waldo Ostreline
Waldo Ostreline

Thabiso having enough players? We talking players that can play at the level? Dont be silly son!

Liziwe Likhwili
Liziwe Likhwili

Ohh Yes they do the question is they have our support or critiques And love u guy big time

Monwabisi Gcememe
Monwabisi Gcememe

Of course, its just that there isn't enough research done about finding and developing rural cricketers. Come to towns like Alice and Fort Beaufort #NgumbelaTournament #RayMaliT20

Edward Pretorius
Edward Pretorius

its the BEST way forward! Yes standards WILL obviously decline a bit but in the LONG run MORE young players will STAY in the country,a good example is Matthew Pillans(Dolphins) that left NOT because of the so called quota system but because of a lack of OPORTUNITY in general! I advocate the return to the (old) provincial competitions for a long time now so IF CSA go that route I would be TRHILLED to the max! There is LOADS of talent in the rural areas that just wait to be unlocked! The BEST thing that will come out of this is that there would be enough places for ALL up and coming players irrespective of race! England DONT have the problems that WE as a country have in terms of previously disadvantage communities,whether we like it or not it will be there for a LONG time to come! The financial issue could be sidestepped by playing MORE games at club grounds around the country rather than in the bigger stadiums just get local municipalities on board to upgrade playing facilities at clubs! The government want to see MORE representatives sides so get Mbalalula to put the “money where his mouth is!

Anele Mbombo
Anele Mbombo

we do. more teams, means more sponsors, more attraction to SA cricket. finally players like myself will get a chance at the pros

Robyn Jansen van Vuuren
Robyn Jansen van Vuuren

Please could you provide me with a contact email address? I have tried multiple ways of getting hold of SA Cricket Magazine but to no avail.

Mphele Caiphus Nkwagatse
Mphele Caiphus Nkwagatse

With so many saffas playing in England. Yes we do..If not to stop white people saying quota is limiting their chances which of course is true,then for creating jobs.get rid of the provincial competition.Rugby should follow suit...

Ron Hobson
Ron Hobson

I know I will be attacked for mentioning Race but The Actual question is Does South Africa have Enough Quality Black Players to play at the highest Level??? MOST DEFINITELY YES,YES AND YES!!!!

PJ Goedhals
PJ Goedhals

SA Emerging XI's opening batsmen had fc averages of 22 and 13 after 10-20 games. Yep, plenty of talent to go around.

Moses Ibraar
Moses Ibraar

CSA got banned by Fikile Mbalula because there weren't enough quality black players

Zolisa Ngcuka
Zolisa Ngcuka

So many believe that white cricketers are more talented than black people. Wow that's interesting, then that would mean colored players such as Gibbs are second to whites. I think Rabada is more talented than all white bowlers SA ever produced. Yes talent needs to be nurtured. I believe there is at least 10 more Rabada's amongst black communities. CSA create there space otherwise......

Chandre William Groenewald
Chandre William Groenewald

Gibbs went to Bishops in the 90s and started palying when he was 16 no quotas back then. Also he had soccer trials on the UK and was had the chance to play rugby in NZ. He also has the fastest high school 100m record. Gibbs was a better allround athlete than AB Rabada seems like a once in a generation type of bowler who will probably surpass Steyn who has been the best dast bowler for the laat 10 years and you telling me there are 10 more

Zolisa Ngcuka
Zolisa Ngcuka

Chandre William Groenewald Gibbs talent was nurtured at Bishops there are many Gibbs that didn't get the opportunity due to discrimination. Majority of black kids can't even afford a cricket kit, cricket is still an elite sport. If Rabada's father didn't not have the money to send him to a school where he studied we would have never heard of him. Had he gone to any of the public schools that many who could be better than him attend there would be no Rabada. Promote access to the sport South Africa would produce a lot of Chris Gale, Amla, Lara's Pollards, Makhaya Ntini's of this world.

Moses Ibraar
Moses Ibraar

Nope this is too much.....The skills standard will really drop plus not enough funding or control

Thabiso Thulo
Thabiso Thulo

We do have enough players..The real question should be, do we have enough money to take care of 12 franchises?. Shouldn't that be a move to grow the game? How do we get business to invest in cricket like they do in soccer?..

Chandre William Groenewald
Chandre William Groenewald

Draft system like they have in the NFL and NBA could work. Bigger teams could help smaller teams

Leo Bargiacchi
Leo Bargiacchi

Think our Pro20 format is probably the most boring world wide....

Douglas Gird
Douglas Gird

In away yes and in a way no it all depends on the quota system if they dont use it then YES we but if they we wont have 12 strong franchises teams

Sihle Mchunu
Sihle Mchunu

Piwe Ncetezo for President. U deserve a bells my friend

Slabbert EC
Slabbert EC

No. We don't even have enough for 6. Quality poor. And starting to show internationally.

Donald Tuck
Donald Tuck

Nope we dont even have enough for present franchise system..not yet...gap still too big..maybe in a few years time ..we have so much potential in terms of numbers at lower levels..they just need to kick on to higher levels..give it about 5-7 years

Piwe Ncetezo
Piwe Ncetezo

In Any Sport you got Powerhouses and underdog.... This Strength vs Strength is Not making Sense. In Spain you find Real Madrid winning 9-0.... Strength vs Strength is Suffocating talent. .... I am sure from the Small teams there will be 1 or 2 good players as all underdog team do, which the powerhouses will buy. Many under 19 Players are vanishing because of this Strenght to Strenght.What happen to our under 19 World Cup winning Captain, Aiden Markram? If this 12 teams are introduced it will be Excellent

Henk Tait
Henk Tait

Zebi Mokoena you idiot. Im raising the POINT that of those 11 GREAT players they can only choose 5. I havnt even mention 6 other players.

Zebi Mokoena
Zebi Mokoena

As long as you think black players are. the source of bad performance we goin nowhere.You state 9 white batsmnen and 2 bowlers. 5 of them if lucky can only play 3 games for Titans due to international commitment. If your mind function well you will understand even without quota there is no way u cant play all those players same time.

Zebi Mokoena
Zebi Mokoena

You deliberately ignored other 6 players because thats the race you dont like. For your info first class average and test are 2 different standards example JP ave 48 and Behardien 41. So calling players great based on first class average is something else

Piwe Ncetezo
Piwe Ncetezo

that is Why it is Smart to introduce more teams

Henk Tait
Henk Tait

How can you have strenght vs strenght if some of the best are not allowed to play? Example Titans. You have. De Kock. AB. Faf. M Morkel. A Morkel. Morris. Markram. Kuhn. Elgar. Wiese. De Lange. J de Villiers. BUT. ONLY 5 OF THEM CAN PLAY?!?!

Dries Diamond
Dries Diamond

Markram cant make the team because he, due to the quota system, has to play Heino Kuhn or theunis de bruyn out of the team.

Tyron Azevedo
Tyron Azevedo

Spot on, agree 100%. We can't expect the talent to rise when there is a pool of only 80 players or so.

Piwe Ncetezo
Piwe Ncetezo

Ja well Gents, Talent is there from all Races. Let us Remember that the White Commity had an Unfair advantage over other Races for Plenty of Years! They had the facilities built, COACHING AND MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT. If you look today it seems whites are the Best in Cricket, But that is not True.

Henry Pretorius
Henry Pretorius

Yes if chosen on Merit.That will also solve attendance problem.#obviousproblem

Byron Zeelie
Byron Zeelie

I think the CSA needs to seriously focus on our current state of affairs. Stadiums are empty during 4 day domestic games. There is barely any hype around these games from promoters and broadcasters alike. Come T20 games and there is mass media hype. 12 franchises and 4 day games become even more boring for the average Joe. And more matches, more sponsorship etc. Insane!

Christian Kganyago III
Christian Kganyago III

Even in England and Australia I find stadiums empty on FC games. What CSA should be doing is making cricket available on national TV