Just a few weeks after Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced its plans of introducing racial quota in the South Africa national cricket team, their head coach Russell Domingo has said that the players will be selected only on the basis of merit and not colour for the first Test against New Zealand which starts on Friday at Durban.
“We will continue to do what we’ve always done and that is picking our best eleven players. We are fortunate that it hasn’t been an issue for this particular team,” Domingo said on Sunday.
CSA came under fire from the South African government for a lack of transformation in its national teams, leading to a ban on bidding for international tournaments that will be reviewed next year. Following that CSA president, Chris Nenzani said in a statement that the board would seek to “move with the times” and set a minimum number of black players to be selected in all their national teams.
“There has been nothing officially recommended to me at the moment,” added Domingo.
The organisation has already introduced quotas for the country’s domestic franchise competitions where teams must play at least six players of colour, including three black African players.
South Africa’s 15-man squad for the tests against New Zealand has seven players of colour but just two black Africans in Temba Bavuma and Kagiso Rabada.
Coming to the series, the Black Caps will play two Tests against the Proteas. After the match in Durban, the caravan will move Centurion for the final match. Both the teams will be heading into the series in contrasting form. While New Zealand will be confident after their brilliant 2-0 win in the Test series against Zimbabwe, South Africa would be looking to get their form back on track in Test matches. The Proteas have lost their last two Test series poorly- one in India and the another one against England at home.