Mbalula: What are you doing to transformation?
CAPE TOWN – Former Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula has taken the spotlight off the much-anticipated second Test against England at Newlands starting this morning and re-focused it on transformation.
Mbalula, who is now the Minister of Transport, expressed his disgust at a photo posted by Cricket SA where the national body showcased its new management team of former Proteas Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis, and Charl Langeveldt.
“What are you guys doing to transformation? You [are] taking us back,” he tweeted.
There has been a mixed response by the South African public to the recent appointments made by Cricket SA since the suspension of chief executive Thabang Moroe. Jacques Faul has been appointed acting chief executive, Graeme Smith (acting director of cricket), Boucher (coach), and Kallis (batting consultant) – all White appointments.
For some it has been hailed as utilising the vast experience of formers players, while others – like Mbalula – believe it is a return to a bygone era in South African cricket.
The issue has been intensified with a fit-again Temba Bavuma being left out for Rassie van der Dussen for this second Test at Newlands. It was here at Newlands four years ago against England where Bavuma became the darling of the nation when he struck his maiden Test century. It remains one of the most iconic moments in South African sporting history.
Unfortunately, Bavuma has not been able to fully utilise his opportunities since then having not scored a single Test half-century for the duration of 2019.
"We don't see colour and I think it is important that people understand that opportunity is very important, opportunity for everyone," Proteas captain Faf du Plessis said on Thursday.
"Temba will be the first guy to acknowledge that he got a very good opportunity. It's important that we keep producing very good cricketers. Right now, we need to win cricket matches, we need to win Test matches and we need to raise the level of performance for all of us. It's important that we keep making sure there is a level below us where there are players pushing."
The Newlands New Year Test is the marquee event on Cricket SA’s calendar with the first three days already completely sold out.