Makhaya Ntini is among a select few black cricketers to have represented the country © AFP
Makhaya Ntini was among a select few black cricketers to have represented the country © AFP

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has decided to give more opportunities to black players. Many black cricketers were denied chance to play for South Africa before the country’s independence during apartheid period. CSA has signed a bond with South Africa’s Sport and Education Ministries. This will help in coupling schools with CSA’s core nerve centers. CSA President Chris Nenzani said, “Schools sport is the bedrock for elite sports, not only in South Africa, but around the world. We warmly welcome the support of these two government departments. Overcoming more than a century of neglect of the majority of our school children is something that is beyond the resources of any individual sporting code.” READ: Makhaya Ntini: From cattle-herder to record-breaking South African pace spearhead

Basic Education Minister of South Africa Angie Motshekga was quoted by Firstpost as saying, “I want to commend CSA for committing to work closely with government to ensure that we provide opportunities to play the game to those most disadvantaged by apartheid sports policies. We are particularly pleased that the initiative will target those in rural areas and townships, as well as provide opportunities to young girls to benefit from specialised coaching at the CSA Cricket Hubs, Regional Performance Centres and Provincial Academies. Cricket, like other sporting codes, has the potential to build trust, tolerance and respect amongst communities kept apart in the past. Sport as a nation-building exercise, however, requires us to actively work towards levelling the playing fields. This initiative is a crucial step in that process.” ALSO READ: ICC World Cup 2007: Herschelle Gibbs smashes six sixes in an over

Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula said, “Schools sport remains the bedrock to the entire sport development continuum in our country and creates a sustainable and vibrant platform on which all future champions will emerge.” There have always been only a few black players players in the South African national team and this has been a persistent issue for quite some time. Makhaya Ntini, Herschelle Gibbs and only a few others have been able to cement their place in the South African team in the past. Also blacks are more interested in the game of football which is also reason for their small presence in South African cricket.