Pollock’s politics, unlike his batting, belong in the past
GRAEME POLLOCK was a cricketing untouchable, but his belief that South Africa will never again be a cricket force because of transformation is as ill-formed as it is inherently racist. The comments, like Pollock’s batting, can’t be ignored.
Pollock the batsman was class; Pollock the spokesperson for old South Africa is simply crass.
Pollock, in the aftermath of the Proteas Test defeat against England at Lord’s, was quoted in the media as saying that political interference and quotas meant South Africans would have to accept that the Proteas would be a “middle of the road” Test side because racial transformation was the key component of selection.
Pollock even pinned opening batsman Heino Kuhn’s Test failures on transformation, saying that Kuhn was only picked because of his first-class success in a SA competition structure that apparently is weak because of transformation. Apparently it’s never the white guy’s fault and Kuhn’s failures are excused because inferior black bowlers supposedly created the illusion that he could bat.
Pollock didn’t seem as concerned about the state of the Proteas when the team beat Australia 5-0 in a ODI series in SA. There were just three white players in the playing 11, which – if you do the maths – means there were eight players who weren’t white.
Kuhn was out of his depth at Lord’s and has looked equally limp at Trent Bridge. Ditto Duane Olivier at Trent Bridge. Where is transformation the issue?
Why can a white player fail and it never gets mentioned, but when the team fails it is always down to transformation? When the team wins you never hear a peep from the likes of Pollock or any of the SA white sporting giants who played in an apartheid era that promoted the virtues of only white players.
Pollock’s comments reinforced the SA sporting belief of the apartheid era that white is right.
It took one Test defeat for Pollock to blame transformation, but when the team was winning series after series in every format of the game there was no applause in the media from the likes of Pollock. Pollock told a gathering in London that the 11 best players were never selected for the Proteas.
He is right: Kuhn and Olivier should not have played in the second Test. He is wrong when he says it is because of transformation.
I’ve heard similar arguments year after year when it comes to the rugby failures of the Springboks. Transformation is blamed for every Bok failure, but when the team wins transformation is never mentioned.
Transformation was blamed for the Springboks’ 2015 Rugby World Cup defeat against Japan, but the player who missed the tackle for Japan’s match-winning try was Jesse Kriel.
There was never an issue made that 12 white players in the starting 15 was the reason the Boks lost. Nope, what we got was the predictable and cliche social media rant that politics was killing the Springboks.
Pollock and all those who believe transformation is the death of SA sport should be given a statistical history lesson of the Proteas and Boks results over the last 100 years.
SA lost plenty, and in embarrassing and humiliating fashion with a whites-only selection policy.
Pollock’s politics, unlike his batting, belongs in the past. His comments were a greater embarrassment than any national team defeat.