It was a sad day for cricket when the transformation targets were introduced.
I’m a supporter of transformation and it’s necessary in order to introduce more people into the game. But personally, it was a sad day when the targets were introduced, because some players will have to deal with the tag of being a quota player and believing they are there just to make up the numbers.
Transformation is about getting your structures right and creating a sustainable model where players can thrive and have equal opportunities. This has to start at school and club level. Failure to do so can result in forced transformation.
Sport is different to any other industry and in my opinion the best players must play. As for the targets that CSA have set, it’s very easy to achieve, as you can manipulate the number of players to play in a certain format. You can target a format where you want to play your full-strength team, such as Tests where Kagiso Rabada and Temba Bavuma are the only Test-quality black African players in the country at the moment, and you can make up numbers in other formats or against certain opposition.
On a personal note, I had a decent county season, which to me is the closest domestic set-up to international cricket. It tests you mentally going between different formats, and every player wants to play county cricket for the challenge it poses. County cricket is run like a business – every team wants to select all their players on merit in order to win their games.
Because of this you, can’t blame individuals who feel that they will get better opportunities in England, as well as better financial rewards. Professional cricket is a job, and loyalty only goes so far. There are many South Africans doing well in England, and that’s because they might feel like there’s a better future for them there. Keaton Jennings for instance, Ray’s son, has had a fantastic season for Durham, and now he’s been rewarded with a call-up to the England Lions squad.
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