CSA continue to trip over itself, shining unfair 3TC spotlight on Hendricks
JOHANNESBURG – Even as Cricket South Africa tried to get it right, the organisation still managed to get it wrong, with a mangled explanation hinting at window dressing following a change to the captaincy of one of the teams involved in Saturday’s 3TC Solidarity Cup.
Reeza Hendricks will now captain the Kingfishers - making him the third name attached to the leadership of that team since the event was first unveiled a month ago. Kagiso Rabada, originally nominated to skipper the side had to withdraw because of the death of a relative. Rabada was replaced by Heinrich Klaasen as captain, Cricket SA announced on Thursday.
On Friday, Hendricks replaced Klaasen because, according to a CSA statement: “organisers recognised and acknowledged the importance to walk the talk in matters of transformation and taking the lead from Cricket South Africa’s own policies and firm stance and support of the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“It is important to stand by our convictions and to set the right example in everything we do. Cricket South Africa stands for equal opportunity and showcasing our country’s talent and its diversity,” said the Acting CEO, Dr. Jacques Faul.
“Mistakes will happen from time to time, but it is important for us to acknowledge them when they do and do our level best to redress matters in the most effective and honest manner possible.”
So instead of three white captains at SuperSport Park today, there will be two, along with Hendricks. It’s desperately unfair on him that this exercise in window dressing should have him as the central character. It’s been a difficult couple of years as is for Hendricks, who admitted to finding himself in a ‘dark place,’ after missing out on selection for the Cricket World Cup last year.
It takes even more gloss away from an event that has been soiled with controversy almost from the moment it was unveiled in a muddled on-line announcement on June 17.
From the nature of the format itself, then the postponement from its original date of June 28 because CSA failed to get government approval given lockdown measures, to the fact it has become the subject of an internal CSA investigation about a supposedly false list of shareholders, and then that at least six people - none of whom are players - who would have worked in some capacity at the game have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, it has struggled to embrace what it was set up for - charity.
What good has come from it in the build-up was a much needed opening of a can of worms around racism in the sport, following criticism of Lungi Ngidi by a handful of ex-players because he dared speak up about the Black Lives Matter social movement.
All the players involved in Saturday’s match held forthright and at times emotional meetings this week - the first time many had seen each other face to face for months - to discuss the matter as Ngidi said they would.
Those talks resulted in white players, including Faf du Plessis, Anrich Nortje and Dwaine Pretorius all stating on social media that they support the Black Lives Matter movement and wanted to embark on listening to teammates about racism and prejudice that is prevalent in South Africa. Rassie van der Dussen had also expressed his support earlier in the week.
On Friday, Cricket SA’s Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith did the same.
With so many painful stories emerging from black ex-players about their experiences in the Proteas team and at domestic level, South African cricket has been given a chance to reflect and confront issues that have been swept under the carpet for far too long.
Cricket SA didn’t do well on Friday with the reasoning behind Hendricks being made captain of one of the teams. The 3TC match on Saturday gives CSA the chance to start doing better.
The match starts at 11am.
The squads for 3TC are:
Reeza Hendricks (captain), Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan, Faf du Plessis, Thando Ntini, Gerald Coetzee, Glenton Stuurman, Tabraiz Shamsi. Coach: Mignon du Preez.
Mr D Food Kites:
Quinton De Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Jon-Jon Smuts, David Miller, Dwaine Pretorius, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje. Coach: Wandile Gwavu.
AB de Villiers (captain), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Andile Phehlukwayo, Bjorn Fortuin, Junior Dala, Lungi Ngidi. Coach: Geoffrey Toyana.@shockerhess