South Africa bare masterplan to ensure at least two black batters play 2027 ODI World Cup

CSA were recently slammed in South Africa for selecting just one black African player in the squad for the T20 World Cup 2024.

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Cricket South Africa (CSA) was recently criticized in their country for selecting just one black African player in its T20 World Cup 2024 squad. The board later admitted that various initiatives that have been pursued over the years have not yielded the desired results, especially in terms of producing Black African cricketers at the highest levels.

CSA's current mandate requires the national squad to field an average of six players of colour in the Playing XI over the course of the season. Out of these six, atleast two must be black African players. But the current 15-member South African squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 includes just one black African player (Kagiso Rabada).

While there is a chance to improve the average during the 2024-25 summer, even if players like Reeza Hendricks, Bjorn Fortuin, Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rabada, and Ottniel Baartman play every match, South Africa will still fall short of the target of having two black African players in the T20 World Cup squad, raising concerns in some circles.

South Africa's masterplan to ensure at least two black batters play 2027 ODI World Cup

CSA aims to include at least two black African batters in South Africa's Playing XI for the 2027 ODI Cricket World Cup, to be hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki explained to City Press newspaper that the target is a component of a 'transformation master plan,' which aims to offer black African batsmen specialized coaching and mentoring to ease their transition from domestic to international cricket.

Since 2016, the regulations for South Africa’s franchise and provincial teams stipulate that each starting XI must feature at least six players of color, including three black African players.

"[However] these black African batting talent at franchise teams somehow do not transition to the Proteas level,” Moseki told City Press. "But these players are there. They are scoring runs, but maybe they are not scoring enough runs to be unavoidable for Proteas selection.”

According to the reports, CSA is feeling embarrassed by the perceived 'lack of diversity' in the Proteas squad for the T20 World Cup 2024, which consists of nine white players and six players of color, with only one being black African.

“As the barometer of success, CSA wants to see at least two black African players batting in the top six at the 2027 ODI World Cup,” Moseki further added.

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Moseki mentioned also that CSA has already earmarked between R4 million and R5 million for this development program, and they have selected 45 players—15 each in the under-19, under-23, and over-23 age categories.

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