Former CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat has said the number of black African players bought at the recent SA20 auction is a “cause for concern”.
The ASC’s first attempt at a T20 franchise tournament, the Global League T20, never got off the ground as ASC infighting ousted Lorgat in late 2017, the tournament postponed to 2018 and then scrapped.
However, a GLT20 player auction was held, with a total of 17 black Africans picked up by the eight franchises.
Only six black Africans were bought by the six SA20 franchises on September 19, all bowlers – Kagiso Rabada (pre-bought by MI Cape Town), Lungi Ngidi (Paarl Royals), Sisanda Magala, Aya Gqamane (Sunrisers Eastern Cape), Malusi Siboto (Joburg Super Kings) and Junior Dala (Durban’s Super Giants).
Proteas T20 World Cup captain Temba Bavuma was unsold twice for his base price of R850,000. The opening batsman was the only member of the 15-man Proteas T20 World Cup squad not to be bought by one of the six franchises, with a versatile player Andile Phehlukwayo – a traveling reserve – is also absent.
The top black African batsman in last season’s CSA T20 Challenge was Khaya Zondo, who scored 179 runs (the ninth-most) with a strike rate of 112.29. It became unsold at a base price of R175,000.
There are no quotas or transformation targets for SA20 private franchises.
“I don’t want people to think this is a case of sour grapes or an opportunity to fight back. I want our league to succeed because it is essential for the future of South African cricket.
“But the numbers speak for themselves. In my mind, 17 black African players were drafted into the T20 World League in 2017 and five years later that number has dropped to six. Obviously, something is wrong.
“It must be concerning. Something is not working or something else is at stake.
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“There should have been a framework in place. We’ve done it in the World League, although some of it is unwritten.
“These were not all written guidelines, but we had invested almost a full day with the team owners before the draft to educate and enlighten them on the need for the transformation of South African cricket. The environment in which we were evolving was relevant.
“I vividly remember the owners being so impressed with our transformation discussion that they sought to invest in more hubs. As part of the terms and conditions of their license, they had to invest $25,000 in at least least one hub in their city.