• Smith addresses transformation criticism

    Cricket South Africa interim director of cricket Graeme Smith has reiterated committed to transformation after being criticised by the Black African Cricket Clubs.

    The BACC was formed several years ago amid a racially-charged split with the Gauteng Cricket Board (now Central Gauteng Lions).

    ‘I’m fully aware that in times of change in any organisation there will be instances of uncertainty and distrust from members of certain groups. I’m also well aware that in South Africa, it will take a lot for some members of the black community to put their trust in a white man of my background,’ said Smith.

    ‘I can assure them, however, that I fully intend to do my best to advance the transformation agenda of Cricket South Africa and ensure that young black African players are given the opportunity that they deserve to reach the highest levels in all areas of the game.’

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    There is one black African in theĀ  Proteas XI for the ongoing first Test against England at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is playing, while batsman Temba Bavuma and Lungi Ngidi are sidelined by injury. All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo was named in the squad, but not the XI.

    ‘You are sitting with a director of cricket who has the responsibility to develop everyone,’ said chairman Ntsongo Sibiya.

    ‘I am not sure what he understands about a kid in Soweto or in a rural area. I don’t think he understands those dynamics. If you were a black man and Graeme becomes director of cricket, would you trust him to develop your side?

    ‘I am saying Graeme, the position, not Graeme, the man. I am talking about the director of cricket position. It is a critical position. It needs to be managed. It needs to make sure it does what this country needs. It needs to be someone that thoroughly understands.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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