The Board of Directors of Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed its aggressive approach to develop black African players.

In the new season (2015-16), Franchises will be required to field at least six players of color and at least three black African players in all competitions. Teams playing in all semi-professional matches will be required to field at least six players of color and a minimum of three black African players.  This means the transformation targets for players of color and black African players in franchise competitions will be increased by one when compared to the current season while the status quo is maintained for the semi-professional competitions.

The Board has also resolved to make available a one-off subsidy of R350 000 per franchise to set off the costs of contracting an additional Black African player in terms of the resolution. This is designed to assist franchises who may have already completed the contracting of players for the 2015-16 season and will not be repeated in future seasons.

“The recent CSA Board decision flows from our Transformation Indaba that was held in 2013,” commented CSA chief executive, Haroon Lorgat. “There remains a need to unlock the vast cricket talent among the majority of our people and this has been a desire of ours for a long time. We know what we must do and we fully recognize the need to transform so that we can maintain our competitive edge and be relevant to the society in which we live.

“We are clear that the Affiliate and Franchise Presidents, CEOs and their coaches have the direct responsibility to increase the pool of black players. Our previous initiatives have shown success and we are committed to achieve representivity for all our people and remain the best team in the world.

“From an operational perspective it has been heartening to see the manner in which everybody has embraced the need for change.

“Apart from the noticeable growth at Franchise and Affiliate level there has also been other exciting developments taking place at different levels in our pipeline. The following is worth noting:
• The bizhub Highveld Lions who have already clinched the Sunfoil Series going into the final round have regularly fielded four black African players and they have all been selected on merit;
• The second-placed Sunfoil Dolphins have fielded five black African players at various stages of the same competition;
•  Third-placed, The Unlimited Titans, have fielded three black African players;
• South Africa ‘A’ fielded three black African players in the Test series against the England Lions and four in the one-day series (a total of 5 different players across the two formats);
• South Africa won the U/19 World Cup last year with a squad that included four black African players and the same applies to this year’s squad, including the captain and coach, as they prepare to defend the title early next year;
• There are four black African players in the latest SA Schools team, three in the SA Colts and four in the SA U/17 squads;
• Border, who always field a majority of black African players have won the CSA one-day Affiliates’ competition for the second time in three seasons.

“From these facts it is evident that South African cricket is moving into very exciting times. In developing our talent I would like to thank all CSA stakeholders for their contributions. There has been a lot of hard work behind the scenes by many, including the unveiling of Regional Performance Centres and associated Hubs that will go some way to support young players most in need,” concluded Mr. Lorgat.