Former CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat says the number of black African players bought at the recent SA20 auction is a “cause for concern”.
CSA’s first attempt at a T20 franchise tournament, the Global League T20, never got off the ground, with CSA infighting having Lorgat ousted in late 2017, the tournament postponed to 2018 and then scrapped.
However, a GLT20 player auction was held, with a total of 17 black Africans picked up by the eight franchises.
Only six black Africans were bought by the six SA20 franchises on 19 September, all of them bowlers – Kagiso Rabada (pre-bought by MI Cape Town), Lungi Ngidi (Paarl Royals), Sisanda Magala, Aya Gqamane (Sunrisers Eastern Cape), Malusi Siboto (Joburg Super Kings) and Junior Dala (Durban’s Super Giants).
Proteas T20 World Cup captain Temba Bavuma twice went unsold for his base price of R850,000. The opening batsman was the only member of the Proteas 15-man T20 World Cup squad not to be bought by one of the six franchises, with all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo – a travelling reserve – also missing out.
The best black African batsman in last season’s CSA T20 Challenge was Khaya Zondo, who made 179 runs (the ninth most) at a strike rate of 112.29. He went unsold at a base price of R175,000.
There are no quotas or transformation targets for the privately owned SA20 franchises.
“I don’t want people to think this is a case of sour grapes or an opportunity to hit back. I want our league to succeed because it’s critical for the future of South African cricket.
“But the numbers speak for themselves. In my mind, 17 black African players were drafted in the Global League T20 in 2017 and five years down the line that number has reduced to six. Clearly, something is not right.
“It has to be cause for concern. Something is not working or something else is at play.
“There should have been a framework in place. We did that in the Global League, albeit some of it unwritten.
“It was not all written guidelines, but we had invested almost a full day with the team owners before the draft to educate and enlighten them on the necessity for transformation in South African cricket. The environment within which we operated was relevant.
“I remember distinctly that the owners were so impressed by our transformation discussion that they sought to invest in more hubs. As part of the terms and conditions of their licence, they had to invest $25,000 in at least one hub in their city.”