Players Should be Picked on Merit and Not Colour at Professional Level, Feel Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada

South Africa Cricket Team’s fast bowler Kagiso Rabada feels players should be picked solely based on the merit and not colour at the professional level. Meanwhile, Cricket South Africa’s transformation policy requires that the national team has an average of 55% (or six) players of colour in each game across formats during any given season. However, their transformation policy doesn’t apply at the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019.

Merit should only be the criteria for selection: Rabada

The Proteas had a poor start their World Cup as they suffered a massive 104-run defeat against host England in the tournament opener at the Kennington Oval in London. Batting first, half-centuries from Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, and Ben Stokes propelled England to 311 runs before an outstanding spell from Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes’ all-round effort sealed the tie in favour of the host. Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen tried to steer their side home, but the English bowlers were all over the Proteas to open their account in style.

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Kagiso Rabada, who plays a significant role in this playing XI, believes the transformation should only happen at the grassroots level. The young fast bowler feels transformation is all about giving an opportunity as most as possible.

“At a professional level, players should be picked on merit,” Rabada told ESPNcricinfo in an exclusive interview recently. “For me, transformation is all about getting an opportunity. I feel that players or people should be given the opportunity as much as possible,” he added.

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South Africa didn’t quite reach those targets over the last season, with injuries to players such as Lungi Ngidi and JP Duminy contributing to that. However, the rise – and success – of players such as Kagiso Rabada is sometimes presented as proof that transformation works. Lungi Ngidi and Andile Phehlukwayo are the other two players to have come up the ranks from transformation and are a part of the World Cup side.

“You are seen as a beacon of hope in terms of transformation and all of that,” Rabada said. “People try and justify transformation by using players like us, using players like Lungi. Bringing that into the team, obviously if you are doing well and the team is doing well; those topics are going to be raised, and you are going to be seen as an example,” he added.

In conclusion, Kagiso Rabada said that he doesn’t feel any extra pressure or responsibility with people seeing him as an example and role model. The top-class fast bowler, who feels the wounds of apartheid will not go soon, is setting up a foundation to provide others with the facilities he has received.

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