Former Proteas all-rounder JP Duminy says an open and honest discussion is needed to tackle the racial problems facing cricket in South Africa.
The 36-year-old was a guest panelist on the ICC’s Inside Out discussion, joined by former West Indies captain Daren Sammy, former England Women’s star Isa Guha, former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody and former Pakistan player Bazid Khan.
The discussion shed light and experiences of the former players on how cricket can play an integral role in overcoming racism in society at large, with Duminy acknowledging that South Africa still needs to enhance education and conversation to address this.
‘Where we’ve come up short with the understanding of transformation is that from a government point of view we’ve looked at it from the external and can we change the external,’ Duminy said.
‘The reality for me in truly understanding the responsibility and the impact you can make [as a player] on South African cricket, is that transformation, in its purest form, is actually from the heart. So, it needs to be an internal thing that transforms and then transcends into an external being.
‘We can’t transform outward-inward, it needs to be an inward-outward transformation and once we truly understand that and we really accept the background of our country, the struggles that we’ve had, we can truly appreciate what transformation is.’
Duminy, who retired from international cricket following last year’s World Cup in England, also believes a deeper and clearer perspective is needed from South Africans to truly understand and grasp the racial inequality and injustices that are still evident in everyday life.
‘When it comes to the opportunity presented in a cricketing context, it is immense, because what the last few weeks have taught us is that there is still a lot of animosity, still a lot of hurt, a lot of baggage. The reality is we haven’t dealt with it properly, we haven’t healed from it. But, it starts with conversation and authentic conversation.
In a special episode of Interviews: Inside Out, we talk about how everyone can deal with racism in the sport.
Make sure you watch this important discussion: https://t.co/tsGhUvjFMn
— ICC (@ICC) June 21, 2020
‘Transformation currently looks like it’s spots available for a certain demographic. For whatever reason, that already puts the team on the back foot because there is the potential to not be able to pick your best team. I am not saying that has always been the case, but there is the potential for it.
‘It gives a Black African player the sense – even players of colour like myself – that you are not picked on merit. And that is a degrading experience for players of colour. We understand why it came into place, but we are trying to find the balance of inclusivity. We have a big opportunity here to use transformation in an internal way,’ added Duminy.