Big read | Proteas face stricter transformation targets

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The Proteas’ Test, ODI and T20 squads will face stricter transformation targets in the coming years.

PROTEAS PLAYER RATINGS | WHO SHONE AND WHO FLOPPED?

According to Cricinfo’s Firdose Moonda, the aim, as per a presentation made to current Sports Minister Nathi Mthethwa, is that by the 2022/23 season, the Proteas – in all 3 formats of the game – will field sides with seven players of colour on average over the course of the season.

That would leave space for just four white players in any side in two seasons from now.

Targets introduced following the 2015 Cricket World Cup to date have required the Proteas to field six players of colour in all line-ups (on average) of which at least two were to be black African.

TARGETS ARE NOT PER MATCH, RATHER AN AVERAGE

To note, targets agreed upon were not per match, but rather over the course of the season.

Also to bear in mind, percentages do not always (never in fact) equate to an exact number in an 11-man cricket team.

For the current 2020/21 season, although not yet made public, reports suggest the new criteria has been agreed upon and there are signs it has already started to have been implemented.

The percentage of black African players required with immediate effect in any selection is now 25% (up from 18% last season).

That’s just under 3 per team.

For next season, that percentage will increase to 27% (3 per team), while in the 2022/23 season it will be 33% (between 3 and 4).

The percentage of players of colour currently sits at 58% (a little over 6 players) and will increase to 63% by 2022/23 (7 players).

TARGETS WERE SET MY CSA THEMSELVES

In summary, that will mean that in two seasons’ time, the Proteas will, on average, need to field 7 players of colour in every line-up, of which 3 will need to be black African.

The targets, which were set by Cricket South Africa (CSA) themselves, are understood to have been well received by the ministry, which has previously criticised cricket’s transformation record.

A look at the three selections for the recently-concluded T20 series between the Proteas and England shows evidence that the targets are being noted, although not quite adhered to in full.

All three line-ups had five players of colour (short of both the old and new target for the season of 6), but did have three black African players.

ODI SERIES COULD POSE SELECTION HEADACHES

The upcoming ODI series between the sides starting on Friday, could however pose a few selection headaches.

Following the decision to send three players back to their franchises to play 4-Day Domestic Series cricket, along with the resting of Faf du Plessis and in particular the injury to Kagiso Rabada, the 18-man Proteas squad is now split 9-each in terms of white players and players of colour.

Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla and Junior Dala are the black African bowlers in the squad, with Glenton Stuurman, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi and Beuran Hendricks all players of colour in the attack.

Among the batsmen, Temba Bavuma (black African) is the only selection option – and rightly earns his place on merit.

It is understood that team management understands the need for accelerated and aggressive transformation and are in favour of being transparent about the way the targets work.

PROTEAS ODI SQUAD FOR ODI SERIES AGAINST ENGLAND:

Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Beuran Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj, Janneman Malan, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Lutho Sipamla, Jon-Jon Smuts, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne

PROTEAS V ENGLAND ODI SERIES:    

Friday, December 4: 1st ODI, South Africa v England, Newlands – 13:00 

Sunday, December 6: 2nd ODI, South Africa v England, Boland Park – 10:00    

Wednesday, December 9: 3rd ODI, South Africa v England, Newlands – 13:00 

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