Question about ‘very white’ T20 World Cup squad: ‘I have to create winning team’


“My number one imperative is to create a winning Protea team,” said Rob Walter, coach of South Africa’s white-ball teams, when asked about the predominantly white squad selected for the T20 World Cup tournament.

“To be able to do that I have to pick the best team that has the best chance to do that,” Walter said when asked about the racial composition of the group, which only includes one black player.

Pholetsi Moseki, chief executive of Cricket South Africa, told Sport24 the composition of the team Walter selected was worrying but added that he and director of cricket Enoch Nkwe agreed there were “cricket reasons” for the racial balance. .

The 15-man squad for the tournament in the USA and Caribbean Islands from June 1 to 29 was announced by Walter on Tuesday.

Not since 2016, for the T20 World Cup in India, have there been so many white players in a South African team. A month after the 2016 tournament, then sports minister Fikile Mbalula said KSA would not be allowed to bid for major international events following a report by a government-appointed committee that the pace of transformation in the sport was too slow. is slow.

Later that year, KSA announced that formal targets for racial representation would be introduced with immediate effect. A maximum of five white players could be included in a team of 11 and there had to be at least two black players.

Moseki said that quotas at domestic level – which require at least three black players in a starting team – are aimed at ensuring a larger pool of black players of international standard.

He said targets for the national team remain valid.

“It wouldn’t be based on just one tournament, but as Rob explained, it (the T20 World Cup selection) was quite a challenging thing to deal with as we hadn’t done it for years.”

Walter told journalists during the group announcement that he does not choose any group without first discussing it with Nkwe.

Nkwe said KSA was working to achieve transformational goals ahead of the 2027 Cricket World Cup (50 innings) in South Africa.

“We have different formats where some players may struggle and succeed better than others,” says Nkwe. “We find ourselves in a difficult situation in T20 cricket.”

Walter said he hopes to see more black players come through.

“The system really needs to be the forerunner so that the demographics and representation in our team start to look a little different in six months, 12 months or two years, especially when we host the 2027 World Cup at home,” said Walter.