Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince says transformation has always been met with resistance. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince says transformation has always been met with resistance. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

There's resistance to real, authentic change in SA cricket, says Prince

By Sports Reporter Time of article published Jul 10, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - Social media has exploded over the past two days since former South African cricketers Rudi Steyn, Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar lashed out at Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for wanting the national team to collectively address the Black Lives Matter movement.

Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince, who has routinely been outspoken about inequality in the South African game ever since his playing days has now unequivocally expressed his views on social media.

Prince called for “tough honest uncomfortable conversation” and believes “the system is broken for some time in our beloved SA”.

 The 43-year-old stated that “transformation has always been met with resistance” and that he would “love to see an integrated society”.

The current Cape Cobras coach also remembers an incident in Australia where the black players in the Proteas team were being racially abused by supporters on the boundary.

When the incident was communicated to the Proteas’ team management, it was downplayed and the players were told “it’s not the majority” and continue playing.

"The system is broken and has been for some time in our beloved SA, both in society and in sport. We return from isolation and we say to the world, “look at us, we’re back, oh by the way, there’s still no black people who can play the game, but we brought a few along,” Prince said on Twitter.

"Just to come see though, not partake. BECAUSE WE’RE THE ONLY ONES WHO KNOW, how it’s played, coached, managed, governed, broadcast, how to strategize, Captain etc etc. And if we’re the only ones who know how to do these things, guess what! We secure all the OPPORTUNITIES!

"For this generation and the next and the next.... And so ever since day 1, this Narrative had to be driven and protected, and any form of TRANSFORMATION has been met with RESISTANCE. REAL AUTHENTIC CHANGE, INCLUSIVITY, NON-RACISLISM has never been able to establish itself.

"Black player drinks too much on a flight, it’s all over the media. White player urinates over the balcony of a team hotel, with several onlookers, it’s swept under the carpet. It’s not my intention to attach names and tarnish people’s reputations. We just want EQUALITY!"

Prince says black players have often been blamed when the Proteas don't do well in a bilateral series or at World Cups.

"Literally every WC since, or poor series blamed on TRANSFORMATION, or otherwise translated if you like, “because we have to play with these people”. [In] 2016 in India, ZONDO selected by selectors, IN THE STARTING 11 ( I know, because I was a selector)  Zondo doesn’t play? Why?" Prince said.

"Some Proteas fans might have been shocked and disappointed by what they’ve read on social-media this week. Truth be told, well at least for the 10 years that I’d spent there, there had never been any UNITY! Australia 2005, a number of us encountered racist incidents on the boundary.

"When we brought this to the attention of the leadership at lunch, we were told, “ah it’s only some people in the crowd, not the majority, let’s get back out there.” 2007 WC (World Cup) semifinal, 60/6 absolutely blown away by Aus, who’s to blame, TRANSFORMATION. Absolutely 0 ownership!!!"

IOL Sport

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