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South Africa T20 World Cup 2024 squad under fire for lack of black players, Rabada only exception

South Africa T20 World Cup 2024 squad under fire for lack of black players, Rabada only exception

The Proteas' T20 World Cup squad faces criticism for lacking black African representation. Only Kagiso Rabada made the main team, falling short of the quota requiring two.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) finds itself in hot water over the selection of its T20 World Cup 2024 squad. The higher authorities have pointed to a lack of black African representation, with only Kagiso Rabada making the main 15-man team.

South Africa’s cricketing body mandates six players of color in the playing eleven, with a minimum of two from the black African community. The current squad, however, includes only Rabada and five other players of color, falling short on the black African representation quota.

Former Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula called out the selection, calling it a “reversal of transformation gains” and a betrayal of South Africans’ desire for fair representation. He echoes concerns shared by Ray Mali, former CSA and ICC president, who expressed disappointment at the team’s lack of diversity.

Only 1 African player selected in the Proteas Team for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 Team. Definitely a reserval (reversal) of the gains of transformation and doesn’t reflect fair representation of all South Africans in the national cricket tea,” Mbalula wrote on X.

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South Africa coach defends selection, expresses there is a dearth of option

South Africa’s white-ball head coach Rob Walter has defended the selection, citing a lack of depth in the domestic circuit for a more racially inclusive squad. He acknowledged the need for improvement but stressed the focus on long-term development for a more diverse team by the 2027 World Cup.

The system needs to really up the ante so that in six months, 12 months, or two years’ time, and in particular when we reach the 2027 [ODI] World Cup at home, that the demographics and the representation in our team starts to look a bit different,” Walter was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Lungi Ngidi’s presence as a black African reserve player underscores the potential for a more representative squad.

South Africa T20 World Cup 2024 squad

Aiden Markram (c), Ottniel Baartman, Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock, Bjorn Fortuin, Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Ryan Rickelton, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs.

Reserves: Nandre Burger and Lungi Ngidi

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