• ‘There will definitely be pressure from politicians’

    Former convenor of selectors Joubert Strydom has suggested that interference from politicians will hamper South Africa’s 2019 World Cup campaign.

    The Proteas’ 15-man squad for the global showpiece in the United Kingdom will be announced on Thursday.

    South Africa’s selection for the 2015 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand was marred by controversy after a late change saw all-rounder Vernon Philander picked ahead of seamer Kyle Abbott.

    ‘It’s tough when you’re looking at things from the outside, because you don’t know everything that’s going on behind the scenes,’ Strydom, who was a selector in 2007 and 2008, told Netwerk24.

    ‘Some things are being hidden, but one can trust that there will be transformation issues, even if they’re saying it won’t play a role. There will definitely be pressure from politicians, so that it becomes a reality.’

    Earlier this month, Cricket South Africa chief executive officer Thabang Moroe stated that the Proteas won’t have any racial transformation targets for the World Cup squad.

    CSA, SA Rugby, Netball South Africa and some of the country’s other sporting bodies have been subjected to strict racial transformation targets in recent years.

    ‘No targets have been given. It’s up to the convener of selectors and his team‚ the coach and captain to decide what the final 15 will look like,’ Moroe was quoted as saying by the Sowetan.

    ‘I’d like to think that they will have that sort of picture in mind, and most importantly they will choose the final 15 that represent the best that we have in the country. The other thing is that they will have comfort that the team can go out there to win the tournament.

    ‘We have always taken a stance that we don’t know what the playing conditions will be like on a given match day. So‚ the final 11 will follow an agreement between the convener of selectors‚ together with the coach and captain on a particular day.

    ‘It will be their decision who the players are that are going to represent all of us as South Africans. They will pick a team that is suitable to win a specific match and not to push a certain agenda.’

    Photo: Gallo Images

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