CSA needs 'pragmatic' transformation approach during Covid-19 pandemic
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CAPE TOWN - The 4-Day Domestic Series started on Monday under an immediate cloud with six Warriors players being forced to withdraw from their opening fixture against the Knights in Bloemfontein.
Seam bowler Aya Gqamane and batsman Lesibe Ngoepe both tested positive, while captain Yaseen Vallie, bowler Glenton Stuurman, Proteas wicket-keeper/batsman Sinethemba Qeshile and fast bowler Sinethemba Langa, who lives with Gqamane, were all in direct contact and now need to self-isolate.
This situation had a major impact on the composition of the Warriors squad due to all six players being black. CSA’s transformation rules require each franchise to field a minimum of six black players in every starting XI, with three needing to be Black African.
After explaining the “exceptional circumstances” to CSA last week, the Warriors did not meet the requirements on Monday with Robin Peterson’s side consisting of six white players and only five black players, of which two were Black African, at the Mangaung Oval.
The Warriors could face an inquiry for their actions after Cricket SA’s Members Council convened a meeting on Sunday related to the impact Covid-19 pandemic would have on the demographic representation of teams.
Independent Media understands that the Members Council decided that “the (transformation) policy as stated will be endorsed and that no exceptions shall be made to the respective team demographic targets.”
SACA President Andrew Breetzke believes there needs to be a “pragmatic approach” to Covid-19.
“We have always been supportive of CSA’s transformation policies, but there needs to be a pragmatic approach during these unusual times. Our primary concern is the players’ health and safety. All our decisions need to be made with this in mind,” Breetzke said.
Cricket SA have put in regulations for the domestic series that if a player tests positive for Covid-19, displays Covid-19 symptoms, or is prevented from participating as a result of applicable Covid-19 public health guidance, a Covid-19 replacement may be permitted.
The CSA match officials can only approve the replacement request if it’s a like-for-like player and whose inclusion will not necessarily exclusively advantage his team.
Last season the Cape Cobras also faced a CSA inquiry after missing their transformation minimum in a four-day match against the Warriors.
The Cobras starting XI featured just two Black African players - one short of CSA's requirement of three black African players.
However, they met the overall target for black players with a total of seven.