Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dearth of Black cricketers and Stormin' Norman's woes

I hear that is not all well with the national flowers in Bangladesh. Apparently we are struggling on the field and it seems as it the void left by Polly will be difficult to fill.((But are we looking at the right places ?) The cynic in me is nagging: just wait now, soon the commentators will pounce on Norman Arendse, and the incompetent (read: black) administrators as the actual reason behind our woes. However, as far as this cricket-lover in concerned ( and may I say, the majority of South Africans?) we should hand Arendse a trophy. Finally, there is some-one who, in the face of adversity, are brave enough to stand up against up for what is right.

So, what it right ? It's right that the Proteas, traveling the world, should come from all the communities in South Africa, not just from the white community. It's right that players of colour should be afforded that same opportunities to break into senior ranks, and game time to get form again as their white counterparts. It's right that there should transformation in cricket, so that the injustices of the past is set right. It's right that people from the old SACOS background should be allowed to speak their minds and value the legacy of sporting heroes, also from behind the 'sinkplaat' fields. It's right that the coach works for (is employed by)the Board, not the other way around, Micky.

We've always knew that children from the 'lokasie', from the townships do have the sporting talent to match the best of the rest of the world. We also knew that they were never afforded the opportunities to develop this talent, the resources were not made available and therefore we still have a situation where there is not yet a flood of black and coloured cricketers breaking the senior ranks. So, in this I agree with Jacob Rooy (Rapport, 17 Feb 2008), that the resources need to be prioritized to the Coloured and Black communities, that our teachers and local coaches be empowered, but, may I add Rooy, also that transformation policies be put in place and adhered to. So, Arendse should be applauded for upholding the policy, based on the ideals that people in South Africa struggled and died for, not lambasted for being emotional and having petty catfights. This is a game, but in a sense it also also embodies the values and loyalties we live by. Sorry, I am not fooled by the notion that all white sport people have loyalty to this country anymore. This is related to what this country these days, stands for, not what it use to stand for. This put a bit of perspective on the resurrection of apartheid sporting heroes fighting on the side of right-wing relics, like the VryheidsFront and Afriforum. Soon SA's national team will play against India, coached by Gary Kirsten, next it will be Allan Donald (like in the recent T20 competition, and of course, let's not forget Nick Mallet and watch this space, Jake White. The time when we are sure of peoples loyalties, in the midst of adversity or standing up for the voiceless, behind the sinkplate, even at the danger of being unpopular (the name of Brian Van Rooyen suddenly flash in front of me), its then when we can stand by our team, win or loose.
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