JOHANNESBURG - While A pat on the back from government for their transformation policy was gratefully received by Cricket South Africa (CSA), the federation’s president, Chris Nenzani, said there will be no resting on any laurels as the association forges ahead to “Africanise’ the game in this country.
CSA exceeded its transformation targets set last year when they instituted new guidelines, exceeding the minimum target of 54 percent participation across the season and formats and the case was the same for the 18 percent figure set down for the participation of Black African players.
“From our point of view as CSA, we are satisfied, we believe that the process is giving natural results. And we hope it will continue to do so,” said Nenzani.
Nenzani cited the recent draft for players in the Global T20 as an example of how CSA’s overall transformation process had led to conventional tools being utilised to pick players for the various franchises.
“You'd have noticed at the player draft for the Global T20, players were just picked on the basis of them being players. We are happy and believe in our system, we are producing players, and we need to give them an opportunity.”
Nevertheless, in his speech at CSA’s AGM, Nenzani said it was important for the organisation’s provincial affiliates to create openings for “transformation officers.”
“If we are committed to the transformation of cricket, the ‘Africanisation” of cricket, we need therefore to make every effort to make it successful and work,” he explained.
"We need to have people monitoring this at every level, so that we are able to see what the blockages maybe, the successful stories and share those successes and with the blockages how do we unblock them, so that we are able to have a bigger picture in terms of what we want to achieve."
Financially, the last year was not as successful as previously for CSA - a loss of close to R159 million had been budgeted for and was put down largely to incoming tour last summer - against Sri Lanka - not being one that is financially lucrative. Next summer, with incoming tours from the Indians and Australians, CSA have forecast a profit of over R500 million.
CSA did incur a net loss of R3.3 million as part of the processes involved in establishing the T20 Global League, but those losses weren’t included in this years financial statements.
Meanwhile, CSA were in touch with the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Sunday over the dates for the Indian tour here this summer. In what Nenzani described as a “very frustrating experience” India’s cricket officials have still not finalised the dates for that tour, which is set to comprise four Tests, five ODIs and three T20s.
CSA has already resigned itself to the fact that it will have to find an opponent for a one-off Boxing Day Test, with India only set to arrive in South Africa at the end of December.
The association was hoping to talk India into accepting just the one warm-up game, so as to allow the Newlands Test to start as close as possible to its traditional date of January 2.
“We understand where India is coming from, they have fixtured in (a series against) Sri Lanka (slated to end on December 24) and they want to come in and acclimatise themselves and it’s a question of seeing the best we can do so that we meet all the objectives we want to - which includes respecting the fact that they have a tight schedule,” said CSA’s chief executive, Haroon Lorgat.