The Cricket South Africa board has met with the group of 40 black former Proteas players and senior coaches to discuss concerns surrounding racial issues in cricket.
Two weeks ago the group released a statement to confirm its undivided support for Lungi Ngidi’s stance on the Black Lives Matter movement, calling on the governing body to address the discriminatory issues of the past now surfacing.
The statement was signed by some of South Africa’s greatest former black players such as Vernon Philander, Makhaya Ntini, Herschelle Gibbs, Ashwell Prince and JP Duminy, to name just a few.
CSA, though, has indicated that its board, led by president Chris Nenzani, conducted a virtual meeting with this group on Sunday to discuss the revelations made by some of these players about their personal experiences.
Last week, CSA announced its new Cricket for Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) concept, which was shared with the group in the hope of forming a constructive plan for the future.
CSA also confirmed in the meeting that the nationwide outcry of support for BLM has forced it to reconsider and adjust its strategy to speed up transformation in the country’s cricketing structures.
The group, though, says more dialogue between players and coaches is needed before new projects are taken on by CSA.
‘We would like to thank CSA for hearing our cry, reaching out and to have an initial engagement. We don’t feel any new projects should be unilaterally embarked upon until honest and thorough robust conversations have taken place,’ read a reply from the group.
They were, however, unhappy about the absence of director of cricket Graeme Smith and some of the senior coaches in the meeting, who they feel are integral to drive home the needed change.
In response, Nenzani assured the group that CSA is fully committed to be more inclusive and transparent in its decision-making.
‘This process going forward will draft in representatives from the former players, such that it is an inclusive and result-orientated process. When we embarked on this journey, we knew it was an emotive process and that it would elicit a difficult conversation,’ said Nenzani.