Former CSA president Ray Mali: I can’t understand why we can’t have more black players in the team

Ray Mali cricketRay Mali.

Former Cricket South Africa president Ray Mali has publicly questioned the composition of the Proteas’ squad for next month’s T20 World Cup in the United States of America and West Indies.

Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada is the only black African player in the 15-man squad. All-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo has been named among the reserves.

“I believe a lot has been achieved, but I believe we have gone backwards in terms of cricket,” the SABC quoted Mali as saying.

“We have taken a step backwards instead of going forwards. I cannot understand why we can’t have a number of black players in the South African cricket team in this day and age.

It is not acceptable. We have betrayed the people who asked us to negotiate unity for this country. Players are mentored and monitored from the early days and right up to the top – you know which players will represent South Africa.”

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Proteas limited-overs coach Rob Walter excluded batsman Temba Bavuma, fast bowler Lungi Ngidi and others from the squad for the 2024 T20 World Cup.

“A system of giving the team to one person to select is not going to work in a country like ours. We need a coach together with the selection panel – let’s go back to it,” added Mali.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Mali

Mali, who also worked with the International Cricket Council, recently received the Steve Tshwete Lifetime Achievement Award at the South African Sports Awards.

“Ray’s leadership has left an enduring legacy in South African cricket. His receipt of this prestigious award is well-deserved, and I extend my heartfelt congratulations,” said current CSA president Rihan Richards.

“Not only did Ray revolutionise traditional provincial structures and grassroots cricket, but he also championed Twenty20 cricket, all while ensuring equal opportunities within the sport.

“His years of dedicated service have profoundly influenced and shaped the cricketing world. We are deeply grateful for his unwavering commitment and contributions, which have enriched the sport and will inspire future generations.”

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