Ashwell Prince has hit back at the ongoing criticism surrounding the transformation policy.
The former Proteas captain and batsman slammed the criticism on the introduction of the transformation policy and weighed in on the sensitivity surrounding the controversial topic.
‘Transformation has been a topic from as long as I can remember. From the day I made my first-class debut in 1995, up to the day I retired in 2015, I had heard every kind of abuse you can think of under the sun,’ Prince told IOL.
‘The message is all very much the same, just varying in expletives, but basically trying to tell me that I’m not good enough and that I will never be good enough, and that I’m only there because of the colour of my skin.
‘The difficulty we face in South Africa is that the influential people, captains, coaches and selectors, until recently have predominantly been white.
‘The fact that those people are/were predominantly white shouldn’t necessarily be a negative for a non-white player, providing those people have transformed hearts and minds.
‘Unfortunately, in my experience as a player, that did not seem to be the case. White coaches and captains seemed to prefer to stick to ‘what they know’; in other words, their own kind, because that is what they feel they can trust.’
The current Cobras coach continued by revealing the roles of coaches regarding this matter.
‘Another massive factor that slows down transformation is the self-same coaches failing to invest time and energy developing the skills and general understanding of the game among the black communities.
‘People seem to think that if their ‘foundations’ can build a couple of nets in a township, they’ve done their bit. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of foundations out there, and I think of JP Duminy’s JP21 Project doing great work in Mitchells Plain, giving disadvantaged kids an opportunity.
‘But when it comes to young cricketers making it at an elite level, we need coaches to transform their minds, to start believing that somebody can come out of the JP21 Project and go all the way to the top to represent the country.’
After Graeme Pollock apologised for his comments about the quota system and the Proteas’ selection, Prince weighed in on his thoughts about the controversial comments made by the former Proteas great.
‘They [Pollock’s comments] most definitely struck a nerve. Not just with myself, but it seems the overwhelming majority of South Africans,’ said Prince.
‘Quite frankly, as a former Protea, one has reached the point where you simply just cannot sit back and allow people with these kinds of mindsets to keep feeding the world this kind of rubbish and just let it be.
He continued by criticising the media’s role in spurring on the transformation debate.
‘Some people and certain media in this country with similar backwards mindsets feel it’s their duty to tell the world that non-white people, people whom they have never met, sometimes never seen play, and know absolutely nothing about, have nothing good to offer our national teams, simply because they’re not white.
‘Mr Pollock talks about merit selection or non-political selection. I would like to take him back to his era and remind him of the name D’Oliveira.
‘It would be very, very naïve to think that apart from the legendary Basil D’Oliveira, there would not have been any [Hashim] Amlas, [Vernon] Philanders, [Herschelle] Gibbses, [Makhaya] Ntinis or [Kagiso] Rabadas in those days.
‘I mention these names because they all have one thing in common; the fact that at some stage of their careers, they all occupied the No 1 ranking in the world. Not in the country, in the world.’
Prince captained the Proteas twice in 66 Tests and played 52 ODIs and one T20 international.