That was the word from South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) CEO Tony Irish on Tuesday, following reports about a possible strike by white players from the Titans, Lions and Knights franchises.
A weekend newspaper report claimed that white players at the three franchises were unhappy about the quota system in franchise cricket, which states that there have to be six players of colour in the playing XI at all times while three of those need to be black African.
These regulations were introduced at the start of the current 2015/16 season as Cricket South Africa were unhappy with the pace of transformation in the sport, particularly with regards to developing black African cricketers for the Proteas national team.
Temba Bavuma became the first black African batsman to score a Test hundred when he stroked a wonderful 102 not out against England in the second Test at Newlands last week.
But Bavuma is one of only seven black Africans to have played Test cricket for South Africa since unity – the others being Kagiso Rabada, Makhaya Ntini, Lonwabo Tsotsobe, Thami Tsolekile, Mfuneko Ngam and Monde Zondeki.
Irish told ANA on Tuesday that SACA, which is the players’ representative union, was unaware of any strike action from white players. He admitted, though, that players from all races were “frustrated” about the quota system at franchise level.
“No, I don’t think so (that there will be a strike). I think there’s a bit of frustration amongst players. Saca doesn’t know about any plans or intentions to do this (strike). We do know there are quite a few frustrated players across all groups,” Irish said.
“Transformation in cricket is a necessary process, as it is in life in South Africa. When policies are clear, players understand (what’s going on) and we do the best we can to accommodate everyone. It’s about communication. We are aware of frustrated players within all (race groups).”
Irish said that SACA will be engaging in talks with Cricket South Africa to look at the issues raised by players with regards to the quotas at franchise level.
“There is a general frustration about playing opportunities. We will discuss it with the players and Cricket South Africa,” he said.
“You need to get on the field in order to compete. We’re aware of the fact that there is general frustration among all of the players, and it is not limited to a particular race group.”
Titans CEO Jacques Faul told the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld this week that he held a meeting with his senior players following the initial report about a possible strike, and that there was a “degree of unhappiness” with the quota system.
But Faul added that there wouldn’t be any strike from the white players. “Albie Morkel, who was our captain in the T20 Challenge, assured us that there were no official meetings during the tournament about any strike action. There won’t be a strike taking place,” he said.
African News Agency
Original source: White cricketers not striking: SACA