Cricketers’ only option is Kolpak
THERE has been much discussion and criticism in the media about the cricketers who have signed Kolpak agreements (a player becomes eligible to sign for a county under the Kolpak deal only after he gives up his right to play for his country), but there has been little mention of an issue I consider to be a major factor behind the exodus. Transformation.
Perhaps journalists avoid this subject for fear of being branded racist, but I believe this cannot be raised when the issue is because of political opportunism from the sports minister when he stated there may not be more than five “whites” in the national team.
In our current set-up we have: Du Plessis, the captain: Elgar, the established opener: Steyn, the highest-ranked bowler: De Villiers, the highest-ranked batsman; De Kok, the most exciting wicketkeeper / batsman in the world. That is already our five, who are “must-haves”. So what hope can there be for “fringe” players when there is Morkel, Cook and several other whites who can fill in. Cricketers are professional athletes who must earn a living, so obviously they opt for the “sure thing” rather than trying for the “long shot” (which political expediency has made virtually impossible), regardless of patriotism, aspirations and ambitions.
My defence for claiming that criticism of putting “quotas” on the national team is not racist but political. For example, a child building a sandcastle starts with the vision of what he is trying to complete, and then builds the base accordingly or else the structure will collapse. Why has the minister not taken steps to build upwards by providing facilities and coaching at base level (schools)?
Instead of doing a proper job to build up sports, he has hidden behind his failure by opting for the populist option of interfering with the national teams.
By the way, the same applies to rugby and most other sports. When we won the Rugby World Cup in 1995, Nelson Mandela stated that the best way to unite a nation is through sport, but this would only apply if the team is not constantly losing because very few enjoy or support defeat. Losing is bound to happen to teams that are not selected on merit but for political expediency. Douglasdale