Proteas kit for ICC T20 CWC 2024 World Cup

The Proteas are soon set to begin their T20 World Cup campaign. Image: Supplied by CSA.

‘Concern’ raised over racial make up of Proteas’ T20 squad

The selection of just one black African player in the Proteas’ 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup has been flagged as a concern by CSA.

Proteas kit for ICC T20 CWC 2024 World Cup

The Proteas are soon set to begin their T20 World Cup campaign. Image: Supplied by CSA.

On Tuesday, Proteas limited-overs coach Rob Walter unveiled the Proteas squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, and generally the selections met most expectations.

However, what couldn’t be overlooked is the fact that only six players of colour were included – the lowest number in a Proteas squad for an ICC event since 2016. With former captain Temba Bavuma and Lungi Ngidi not included in the 15-man group, it meant Kagiso Rabada was also the only black African player representing South Africa.

It’s a ‘concern’ that has been acknowledged by CSA CEO Pholetsi Moseki.

“If there aren’t enough black players raising their hands at domestic level, there won’t be enough to get through to the national team,” he told News24.

“It’s a concern that we’re taking a team to the World Cup with only one black African player and in conjunction with the director of cricket [Enoch Nkwe], there were cricket reasons.

“The Proteas’ [transformation] targets aren’t based on the numbers they send to tournaments, but the numbers are based on how they average over a season.”

Proteas’ T20 squad not seen to be racially ‘representative’ of South Africa

All considered, though, there is a need to look at the broader picture when considering the Proteas’ overall transformation ‘targets’. It was a point also made in an article on the ZA Cricket website.

“To be clear, the transformation target is just that; a target. CSA is under no compulsion to meet the goal if they feel it is not ideal,” an opinion piece read. “CSA didn’t meet their transformation targets last year, and nothing happened. Indeed, the current goal to have only four white players in the national team was supposed to have been achieved by 2023.

“Regardless, it’s worth noting the next time you or someone you know blames all of CSA’s ills on transformation targets, just remember – everything’s made up, and the numbers don’t matter.”

Meanwhile, the coach himself addressed this topic at the team’s press conference this week.

“My number one imperative is to create a winning Proteas team,” he commented when asked to explain the racial make-up of the squad.

“In order to do that I have to pick the best team that has the best chance of doing that…

“The system needs to really up the ante so that in six months, 12 months or in two years’ time, in particular when we reach the 2027 World Cup at home, the demographics and representation in our team starts to look a bit different,” he added.

“Outside of the World Cup, we will continue… to grow our base of players to create international opportunities for players to pit their skills at a higher level and make sure we have bought in on delivering a process that is going to change what our team looks like going forward.”

SA SQUAD FOR ICC MEN’S T20 WORLD CUP WEST INDIES AND USA 2024

Aiden Markram will lead the side in what will be his first World Cup assignment since being named T20 International (T20I) captain.

Aiden Markram (captain, Momentum Multiply Titans), Ottniel Baartman (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Gerald Coetzee (Momentum Multiply Titans), Quinton de Kock (Momentum Multiply Titans), Bjorn Fortuin (DP World Lions), Reeza Hendricks (DP World Lions), Marco Jansen (Dafabet Warriors), Heinrich Klaasen (Momentum Multiply Titans), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), David Miller (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Anrich Nortje (Dafabet Warriors), Kagiso Rabada (DP World Lions) Ryan Rickelton (DP World Lions), Tabraiz Shamsi (Momentum Multiply Titans) and Tristan Stubbs (Dafabet Warriors).

Travelling Reserves

Nandre Burger (World Sports Betting Western Province) and Lungi Ngidi (Momentum Multiply Titans)

Meanwhile, CSA has unveiled the Proteas kit for the T20 World Cup. It is available for pre-order.