Rain, rain go away, come again another day, little Rashid Khan wants to play. They never got to showcase their whole talent, did they? Ran Australia close with Rashid brilliance in Adelaide, Mujeeb’s Magic Ball, and Farooqi’s swing, some moments to cherish.
Foolish batting vs New Zealand, net run rate drops, never recovered, Stoinis only star, Starc-Cummins drop T20 credentials, Finch nearing the end.
The Tigers were one win away from the semi-finals. That is already a big plus, isn’t it? Nothing was expected from them. Also Taskin’s menace and the elegancethat Liton Das is.
Double World Champions, shall I say more? The talent that Sam Curran is, redemptions of Alex Hales & Ben Stokes, and Jos Buttler’s calm captaincy paves new era for England cricket. England’s message to the whole world – Change or Perish. This is the way to go in T20s.
A script so predictable that is starting to get boring. Virat Kohli’s usual magic, India breezes to the semi-finals, and then packs their bags only to return home. But disappointment aside, That Haris Rauf shot, SKY’s 360 game, and the emergency of Arshdeep is what we will all remember.
Coming of age. The Campher-Dockrell recovery vs Scotland set the tone for this World Cup, Balbirnie led from the front, Stirling with his one great innings, Fionn Hand’s Ball vs Stokes, Tector’s 71, and wins versus West Indies and England. Ireland are big boys now.
Set the World Cup on fire with a dominating victory against Sri Lanka in the first game. Almost through to the Super 12s with David Wiese’s heroics but unfortunately the long boundaries went against them.
South Africa will be scarred forever courtesy Roelof Van Der Merwe’s catch and all-round performance. Consistent bowling throughout, Tim Pringle’s glasses, Max O’Dowd’s class, Ackermann’s assault, eye injury to de Leede, Van Meekeren’s fast bowling arrival, and enough support from the rest of the crew.
They came, they saw, they left from the knockout stageswithout conquering. Same old, same old. Glenn Phillips, Santner, and one innings each of Conway/Allen only positives.
Almost a replica of 1992. World Cup down under, lost the first couple, almost out.Then came the Shadab show versus South Africa and they never looked back. Naseem-Shaheen-Haris-Wasim made a potential fast bowling attack that challenged England, but an archaic batting strategy cost them.
Good, but not good enough. Injuries meant they were not even close to replicating their Asia Cup heroics. Hasaranga among the wickets again. But Off-field controversies are not helping.
Brilliant victory against the West Indies but will be disappointed. Had one door in the Super 12s but could not stop an Ireland comeback. An end of era, retirements forthcoming.
Great bowling attack, some power hits, and one win against Namibia. That’s better than most expected.
15. West Indies
Hetmyer missed flight, West Indies missed on common sense cricket. Crashed out of the first round. Digging themselves in a hole now.
The team to support in this World Cup, lead superbly by Sean Williams with charismatic Sikandar Raza as their main man. Defeated Pakistan and were close to the semis if they hadn’t panicked in the Bangladesh run chase. Chakaba solid behind the stumps, Ngarava the pick of the bowlers with Muzarabani and Brad Evans other positives.
Now, calls have come for his axe on the eve of the 2022 T20 World Cup following his horrid series against India where he scored 0(4), 0(7), and 0(8) while Hendricks sat on the sidelines. Although he led South Africa courageously in the 2021 T20 World Cup and handled Quinton de Kock during tough times, an average of 23.54 with 116.49 strike rate is way below par for a modern T20 opening batter.
Although Bavuma has rightly faced criticism, there has been lots of slander and accusations that he is only in the XI to fulfill the quota. We will explore this and debunk some myths.
Quota System in South African Cricket: The Complete Guide
*Disclaimer: I am trying to learn about this from an outsider’s point of view. Hence, this research is conducted through official documents from the South African cricket board with the hope of an unbiased analysis.
In the SA cricket board’s 2021 Integrated Report, they further elaborate that “Transformation is about improved access, fair opportunity and support for all South Africans, within and beyond the boundaries of the cricket field.”
Key Points on Quota & Selections
The document provides an insight into how transformation targets play an part in South African cricket’s selection. Here is a brief summary with quotes from the official document. Some interesting finds.
“It is expected that the selection committee will play its role in ensuring that transformation is aggressively achieved at all levels without compromising the principle of selecting the best team based on current form and the pitch or game conditions.
“When selection between two players is debatable and neither is a clear choice (e.g. both have similar track records and ability), where relevant, preferencemust be given to the player of colour.“
“In measuring our transformation progress, the panel will be measured on a season average basis rather than on a match-by-match basis.”
“Special attention must be given to the development and the creation of opportunities to play black African cricketers at all levels”
“We acknowledge that transformation ins not progressing as fast as it could.”
South African Cricket Transformation Target: The Rules
The targets must be met as per the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) scorecard projections. By the latest transformation targets, on average about 6 players of color, including 2 black African cricketers should be in the playing XI.
Not only that, but the transformation target is also implemented all throughout South Africa’s cricketing system, from age-level groups to senior internationals.
Here is a truncated version of the projections for the men’s cricket team for the next decade.
Forecast December 2022 % Black African
Forecast December 2026% Black African
Forecast December 2030 % Black African
Senior International Team
South Africa A/Emerging/U-19
SA School & Colts
U-17 National Camp
Forecast December 2022 % Generic Black
Forecast December 2026% Generic Black
Forecast December 2030 % Generic Black
Senior International Team
South Africa A/Emerging/U-19
SA School & Colts
U-17 National Camp
So, how does this work?
For South Africa’s senior men team, in 2022, 24% of the players should be Black Africans while 50% overall should be colored.
This means about 2-3 Black African players and 5-6 colored members should be in the XI, while the corresponding figures are 3-4 Black African and 7-8 colored in the squad of 15.
By 2030, the figures will rise to 32% and 60% respectively i.e. the South African XI may need to have an average of 7 colored players (3-4 Black Africans).
One thing to note is that consistently in junior level cricket, the transformation target percentages are a lot higher than the international requirement. This definitely sheds a light on the focus of changing the system from the grassroots level and hoping to have an impact in the international level down the road.
The SA20 has no transformation targets (this could be a cause of conflict in the future. If the homegrown South African T20 league does not have transformation requirement since it is in the franchise model, why should the other parts of SA cricket have it? This may have been a factor in no interest for Bavuma in the SA20 auction).
What Happens if Transformation Targets are not Fulfilled by South African Cricket?
To demonstrate how detailed the transformation targets are, here are the results from the 2020/21 selection report statistics.
The Senior Women had an “on-field Black demographic representation of 48% against CSA target of 50%.” In particular,
Among the 154 selections for the women’s team, the proportions were
Women’s ODIs: 45 White, 22 Black African, 8 Colored, 13 Indian
Women’s T20Is: 35 White, 21 Black African, 4 Colored, 6 Indian
The Proteas Men met their Black African player target for EPG 2020 – but did not meet is Black target.
South African Contracted Players
From the 16 nationally contracted players, the proportion is: 8 White, 2 Colored, 4 – Black African, 2 – Indian. 116 selections (62%) of all the 187 selections came from these contracted players. The other 71 selections (38%) came from 16 non-contracted – 10 White, 3 Colored, 3 Black African, 0 Indian. In particular,
Men’s T20I: 59 White, 24 Black African, 17 Colored, 10 Indian
So Where Does South Africa’s 2022 T20 World Cup Squad Stand?
So let’s get back to the question at the beginning. Where does Temba Bavuma fit in this conversation?
The World Cup squad has 3 Black Africans, 8 White, and 7 Colored players.
Black African: Temba Bavuma, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada
Colored: Reeza Hendricks, Wayne Parnell
Indian: Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi
White: Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klassen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Rilee Rossouw, Tristan Stubbs, Marco Jansen
Can South Africa Afford to Drop Temba Bavuma?
In short, yes…if they play both Lungi Ngidi & Kagiso Rabada.
South Africa’s quota concern for the upcoming world cup is NOT Temba Bavuma. Instead, it may be how to balance the bowlers.
With Quinton de Kock-Rilee Rossouw-Aiden Markram-David Miller-Tristan Stubbs, South Africa have a very stable and explosive core of batters. Since no adjustment can be made in the middle order, SA will have to fit all their colored players in the bowling line up. For example, in the India vs South Africa ODI, they went with a bowling line up Parnell, Maharaj, Rabada, Shamsi, and Ngidi (which is all good for now since they are in decent form).
In conclusion, regardless of SA’s choice to play Bavuma or Hendricks, the quota is not impacted. However, with Parnell, Ngidi, and Rabada almost certainties, Nortje & Jansen might be in the sidelines.
None of this actually matters since the first tenet of the transformation goals is to select the best team on the day and the targets will be calculated on average at the end of the season.
Should South Africa Drop Temba Bavuma?
It is never a good sign to drop a captain on the eve of a World Cup, so Bavuma should still be in the squad for sure. However, it may still be good to give Reeza Hendricks some game time since he was in red-hot form.
It may be worth dropping Bavuma down the order and play him as an insurance policy to stem the flow of wickets in case of a collapse rather than as an opening batter.
Instead of going with an unchanged XI, Vernon Philander (injured in the prior couple of games) replaced Kyle Abbott, who had a good tournament till that point. Later, it was revealed that the South African administrators called the coach/captain and interfered with the selection process.
This broke the team apart and unraveled the heights of the 2007-2015. Kyle Abbott took a Kolpak deal, while Philander retired early. Philander, himself is quoted that there are no hard feelings between him and Abbott.
“When I go to Durban, I have a beer with Kyle. There are no hard feelings between us two. But the point is: Cricket SA must sort out their stuff. What happened was a knock to both of us.”
Where Does South African Cricket Go from Here?
Kevin Pietersen’s exodus to England had already signaled for things to come due to unofficial quotas in the early days. However, South African cricket’s success had hidden the internal conflicts under the carpet.
The Khaya Zondo case revealed that several black African cricketers were picked, but only to ‘make up the numbers and carry the drinks.’ Michael Holding in his conversation with Makhaya Ntini expressed in the SJN hearings how secluded Ntini felt. Kagiso Rabada has been over bowled and not rested/rotated because he ticks the boxes and is really good.
From Faf du Plessis’ “we don’t see color,’ to AB de Villiers’ captaincy hesitations to the SJN hearings, Black Lives Matters, kneeling, etc., the matter is more complex than it seems from the outside.
Is the Transformation Quota System the way to go for South African cricket?
South Africa is not the only country to combat this issue. In the United States, Affirmative Action & India’s reservations with the Mandal Commission have similarly been implemented and received backlash at some point or time or another.
In my own analysis, I did not like treating human beings as statistics and separating them by categories. I am sure as the years go by the implementation will become less strict as equal opportunities would create more organically grown diverse players.
So, is the quota system the best way to go for South African cricket?
I’m not in the best way to answer that, but in order to reverse the prejudice of centuries of discrimination, systematic and grassroots changes are indeed needed.
What do you think about the quota system in South African cricket?
Sources and Further Reading on Quota System in South African Cricket