he Dolphins' chief executive, Jesse Chellan, will officially step down from his position when his five-year contract ends in September, the Durban franchise announced. (Photo by Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - FRANCHISES must play at least five players of colour in their teams – including a minimum of two black Africans – from the start of next season, according to a decision by the Board of Directors of Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Friday.

Furthermore, teams playing in semi-professional competitions will have to field at least six players of colour, three of whom must be black Africans. This means that, compared to last season, the overall figure for players of colour in general has been raised by one, as has the required number for black Africans.

Last season’s incentive-based scheme for encouraging the selection of black Africans has been ditched.

Jesse Chellan, the chief executive of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, said he was not surprised by the decision. “Clearly, this is part of CSA’s transformation drive and, in particular, their project of increasing the number of black Africans playing at higher levels.”

He said that from his franchise’s point of view, the overall target of five players of colour was not an issue. “The Dolphins have often played five players of colour in their teams anyway, so that’s not a problem.”

He said, however, that the increase in the number of black African players would provide the franchise with a challenge. “We’ve got a good pool of African players, but they’re very young and inexperienced. We’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of us this winter to prepare the guys.”

The Dolphins have just lost their pace bowler, Mthokozisi Shezi, who was signed by the Cobras in the off-season. This leaves just one player, Khaya Zondo, who has significant franchise experience. Chellan said the Dolphins would be investigating the usefulness of the loan system so that one franchise can loan out a player if they are not using him themselves.

Saturday Star