World cricket needs a strong South African cricket system

From being one of the big three in world cricket after the isolation years ended, South African cricket has deteriorated over the years.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) needs to get its act together as it has an obligation not only to the country and its cricket fans, but also to the world cricketing community.

South Africa has for years played a major role in the development of cricket around the world, even in the isolation years, and was one of the founding members of the International Cricket Conference, the predecessor of the current International Cricket Council. In South Africa today, it is not fashionable to refer to history because of our past. But being a cricketing person not a politician, I am comfortable and proud about the role South African cricket has played in the evolution and growth of cricket in the world.

The global game is built on only eleven full nations who play all three international formats and South Africa is crucial to the sustainability of world cricket, especially in the professional era. After the isolation years ended in 1992, South Africa was regarded with England and Australia as the big three of world cricket. That is no longer the case with India now taking that position and rightfully so. South Africa has deteriorated over the years because of a myriad of problems, while the Indian game has grown both financially and on the field of play.

The question is, can South African cricket recover it former status as one of the leaders in world cricket with the administrative policies and resources available on both the field and in the boardroom? The answer is probably no, because of negative government influence, a culture of mediocrity that has become the norm and the obsession with representation at all costs. The only hope is for reality to set in and strong leadership at all levels, with a return to an agenda that is cricket based with excellence at all levels, competitiveness and financial sustainability. There needs to be a mind shift that international and professional sport is a game of global profile, excellence and competitiveness, and not a game for social engineering. Players must earn the right to play at that level and not be seen as objects for social change.

Also, what is wrong with a sport being dominated by minority groups if the culture for the sport is vested in these minorities and they are successful? Basketball in America is a good example of what a minority can do for a sport and a country.

CSA owes it to the game of cricket to normalise it, and see it bring honour and reward to a small nation at the tip of Africa for its entire people. They need to protect the game against ruthless politicians and individuals, in the guise of independent directors, who want to capture it for their own agendas.

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