South Africa’s outgoing convenor of selectors, Andrew Hudson, believes transformation demands an increase in the number of teams at franchise level.
In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Hudson pointed out that each week there were only 66 players in action at the highest domestic level in six teams.
New transformation rules are that each franchise must play six players of colour of which three must be black African. That will give the national selectors at least 36 players of colour, of which 18 are black African, to choose from for the national team. Previous the limit was set five and two, respectively.
‘But what you want is to be giving the selectors a lot of talent, which is as diverse as possible,’ Hudson said. ‘For me, there are too few franchises. We only have 66 players in action every week. I think it would be better to have 88, so we can expose more players to franchise cricket.’
Hudson, after five years in the job, chose not to stand for re-election and a replacement could be named on Tuesday after a CSA board meeting.
His last tournament as head of selectors, the World Cup, was overshadowed by accusations and rumours over the selection of a struggling Vernon Philander over in-form Kyle Abbott in the semi-final against New Zealand, which they lost heavily. It was claimed that government had ‘reminded’ the selectors of their ‘target’ for four players of colour in the national team, even though there are no set rules.
There was also unhappiness that the one black African in the squad, left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso, was not given a game at all.
In this context, Hudson defended the selection of the 31-year-old for the Test squad to tour Bangladesh in July and August, though he is not a regular first-class player.
‘We thought Phangi, who takes the ball away from the right-hander, could complement someone like JP [Duminy], who takes the ball away from the left-hander,’ he said. ‘Phangi is also a reliable spinner, who can tie up an end while the seamers rotate at the other end.’