United Cricket Board of South Africa:Briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

11 September 2001
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


11 September 2001

Chairperson: Ms N R Bhengu

Documents handed out:
United Cricket Board South Africa: Cricket & Nation Building Power Point Presentation
Cricket & Nation Building Report

United Cricket Board of South Africa briefed the Committee on the progress of transformation. The Committee was not satisfied with the slow pace of transformation and the development of black players for the National cricket team. The United Cricket Board stated that it was committed to speeding up the transformation process and further development.

Mr Majola (Chief Executive Officer,United Cricket Board of South Africa, UCBSA) presented several programmes to address transformation and nation building.The transformation process started in 1998 after the adoption of a Transformation Charter and pledge made to the nation by the UCBSA board. A target of 50/50 representation had been set in all cricket levels for the Cricket World Cup 2003. This target meant increasing black representation in cricket administration and providing cricket facilities to the previously disadvantaged communities.

See the attached UCBSA presentation for more details.

Mr Morkels (NP) asked why players from Bishops and Dale college were still counted as development players according to the UCB transformation programmes.

Mr Frolick (UDM) asked what the role was of the provincial monitoring team. How were they supposed to co-operate with the provincial ground structures? Tensions had emerged between these monitoring teams and the structures that were responsible to extend cricket on the ground. There was stigma surrounding development players, quality players who had just come to the cricket national squad were not utilized fully. UCBSA development techniques needed to be worked on.What programmes did UCBSA have to support players coming from disadvantaged backgrounds?

Professor Odendaal (an official from UCBSA) replied that the transformation of UCBSA started in the National Vision Conference held in November 1998 involving the adoption of the transformation charter and the pledge that was made by UCBSA to the nation. A transformation monitoring committee was appointed to draw up a plan for change based on the Transformation charter and the Vision conference plans. By 1999 the three years plan was put in place and the monitoring committee was required to audited it on systematic bases and write formal six monthly reports. The next step was to create a national statistical database to record how many Umpires, ground people, under 15 and 19 teams, coaches and players participated since 1999. The purpose of all this was to monitor and check that transformation occurred in an appropriate and orderly manner.

Referring to Mr Mlangeni's question he said that the performance contract was important for the nation hence they had set a 50/50 target for their transformation to be achieved over three years. Black representation in the junior youth teams was 5% in 1991, 27% in 1999 and 42% this year. The target for black cricketers this year was surpassed.

According to Prof. Odendaal another area in which UCBSA had tried to speed up transformation process was to have the monitoring teams nationally with one in each province. It was true that negative tensions had emerged between the Provincial monitoring teams and the local structures particularly in the Eastern Province. However, in other provinces there were monitoring committees which met four times a year for feedback on provincial transformation.

A DP Member commented that to have a development academy was a positive step taken by UCBSA, but there were negative perceptions attached to it. It was felt that once accepted in a national team this was for life, and there was not much opportunity for others. Another perception was that players who were said to be out of form were dropped in the squad
He commended the schools of excellence allowing children at all levels to participate in cricket.

Mr Majola stated that cricketers were honoured in the national squad. Gary Kirsten when he was about to be dropped because of his failing in the couple of games, quickly picked up his form and started scoring centuries. Regarding the perceptions that said club cricket was dying; club cricket was alive and still attracting sponsorship.

Mr Jordan (Director of amateur cricket) replied that the academy was established to promote excellence and that they had programmes to develop young cricketers. According to him they had programmes for under 19 cricketers and who would graduate to become professional cricketers. All provinces had these academies and they had a national week and camps for under 15 players which were going to be introduced to the under 19 players on an annual basis. These academies dealt with the improvement of the skills and provided opportunities for the coaching.

Cricket programmes endeavoured to create better community life opportunities for all in South Africa. Cricket player development should start from ground level where they identify talent. Young players in communities had to understand that they had to acquire skills and work hard to became successful players, the UCBSA could only supply a vehicle to self-development. Young players in communities had to make use of the initiative made by the government. The government last year provided funds to build cricket facilities and these funds were granted to disadvantaged communities. Referring to the centres of excellence, they were targeting as many groups as possible. Clubs had specific coaches but there was a need to further develop school cricket clubs to ensure a sustainable environment for cricket all over the country.

Mr Mlangeni (ANC) commented that there was a perception that cricket was dying at club level. He also asked whether UCBSA had signed the performance agreement with the Department of Sport and recreation.

Mr Sonn (President UCBSA) replied that his predecessor Mr Raymond White signed the performance agreement.

Ms Bhengu asked what progress had been made to implement what was contained in the agreement document and what were the results?

One of UCBSA officials replied that they had the series of targets in the previous years and he was sure that was taken into consideration. The other aspect of the agreement was the role that could be played by media to create a climate for transformation to be seen in a positive line.

Mr Sonn said that cricket was working in its own mentality, its own paradigm, and needed to transform. If their organisation wanted to represent this country in cricket then it had to represent the dreams and aspirations of all the people of this country. He apologised for all oversights concerning the agreement, he would ask Mr Jordan to align the content of the agreement with their aims and meet the committee in another session.

An ANC Member commented that he was very grateful to know that UCBSA had decided to have a policy that formalized coaching and created facilities for people with disabilities. Had UCBSA consulted with organizations that work with disabled people to ensure that the development of such programmes addressed their needs and money was not wasted?
Mr Majola (Chief Executive Officer of UCBSA) replied that UCBSA was still new in the field which dealt with disabled people.

Another UCBSA official stated that South African blind cricketers were the world champions and they were looking forward to defend their title in Newlands. UCBSA was looking forward to discussing with this team's management their success and how disabled cricketers could attain this.

Mr Pieterse (ANC) commented that most cricket role models in the provincial and national teams did not come from the previously disadvantaged schools but from previously white schools. The question of rural women and the disabled people were national questions. Time frames needed to be implemented. Cricket facilities for the disabled and women were needed. He further commented that there were problems at club levels which could be resolved by including life skills programmes at early ages.

Mr Sonn (President UCBSA) replied that cricket was an insignificant player in the greater scheme of the development of comunities, but were prepared to contribute their best to the development of the youth through their structures. They did not have direct control through the UCBSA structures on other stakeholders participating in the greater social and economic development.
However role models could be created which the youth would aspire to. He was approached by one organization representing women and they had pledged to give them all support, but were not qualified to manage development in those areas. Organization that dealt with these matters had to be formed.

Ms Mbulawa (ANC) what were the legal implications of not signing the performance agreement with the Department of Sports & Recreation. Why was Makhaya Ntini given a bursary to study at Dale college instead of Kuyasa high school in Dimbaza? Why did a person have to go to white schools to be developed. She asked what was the relationship between UCBSA and its ground structures, especially referring to the tensions between these structures and the provincial organizations in regard to transformation. Of the eleven provinces of UCBSA which ones were active in transformation? What was the relationship between UCBSA and local government regarding sport facilities.

Mr Jordan replied that they understood the schools like Dale college were not accessible for the majority of the previously disadvantaged people, but according to him it would be impossible to replicate the resources that exist in these schools. Most white schools had better resources than in the previously disadvantaged schools. Together with MTN they had embarked on a programme to bring facilities and developed coaching skills to the communities. They experienced problems in this programme because many disadvantaged schools did not had enough open space for cricket facilities. UCBSA is committed in the transformation of cricket and therefore had to move players from where there were no facilities to the facilities, which means white schools at the moment. UCBSA was looking forward to establish programmes with the Department of education, according to different educational levels, however, they need partnership with government to sustain these programmes.

Ms Lamani (ANC) commented on the problems experienced by cricket clubs from local government authorities such as the mishandling of allocation of cricket facilities. Nothing had been done by UCBSA to develop rural cricket and it was important they start developing it.

Mr Sonn replied that UCBSA is the national body that consisted of the administrative unit, it had affiliates who were the provincial organizations and that they had contacts with the local government. These affiliates consist of clubs who once again had contact with local councils. They depended on these structures to relate with the local government. They could only assist where there was a problem and where they were requested. Mr Jordan was leading a team that dealt with those matters.
Mr Swarts (DP) asked how did UCBSA academies compared with the academies in Australia, which excelled not only in cricket but also in other sports codes. Did these academies offer leadership skills, because they would like to see a Captain or the Vice-Captain of colour in future. Leadership was something that some people were born but it could be developed. How far was UCBSA with preparation for the world Cup?

Mr Sonn replied that they were doing their best to produce the capacities that met the minimum requirements of the International cricket council (ICC). These included the level of technical equipment that had to be available like the stadiums. He assured the Committee that these requirements at international level would be met.

Mr Jordan stated that they had to have a national academy to prepare their players for the World Cup in 2003. The present academies could be compared with those of Australia. Players received assistance with cricket and overall holistic development. Every player was given a chance to captain the side. Recently the under 19 team had visited Newlands and the Captain of the side proved that players of colour could be future Captains because they had improved their skills dramatically.

Mr Chauke (ANC) commented that UCBSA presentation was just the repetition of their previous presentation. The people of South Africa fought for the unity of cricket but when they looked at the national squad they saw setbacks. He was surprised to hear UCBSA delegation saying they no longer treat players according to background. After ten years down the line they only had two to three black players in the national squad and these players did not appear regularly in the national squad. If UCBSA took ten years to produce these few players it might take another ten years to produce the same number in future because there were no time frames. Were they experiencing problems? Cricket was dominated by English, rugby by Afrikaners and soccer by Africans - this had to come to an end in South Africa. What is happening with unity? He asked the UCBSA delegation about the under 19 black players representing the country three years ago who were now 20-21years but where had they disappeared to? He again asked the UCBSA delegation to speak to them if they were experiencing resistance in transformation. He was not satisfied with UCBSA performance at that moment. Cricket had good programmes at provincial level but the problem was with the national squad. Nothing had been done to develop cricket in rural villages. There had been no action from UCBSA to resolve this situation.

Mr Sonn replied that they were trying their best and had managed to bring changes in UCBSA board. They had programmes to develop players and cricket facilities especially among the previously disadvantaged groups.

Mr Louw (ANC) commented that the nation had supported cricket since 1994 and would support the 2003 World Cup. There were only two black players in the national squad after so many years. UCBSA' s strategies to identify talent in rural areas and the time frames for these players to develop have not been discussed as yet. He urged the UCBSA to take this matter very seriously and be practical as the committee was always faced with these questions in their constituencies.

Mr Chauke also commented that black schools did not have facilities because of apartheid, however cricket was very strong in these schools. The UCBSA should identify a certain number of good black cricketers and place them in an academy with resources and after a certain period they would like to see them in the national squad.

Mr Sonn said there were no simple solution to this matter but they were committed to transform cricket and they would engage the committee on their development. He also promised that they would have 50/50 representation of the national team in the 2003 World Cup.

Mr Jordan stated that they were mindful of the comments made by the committee regarding their transformation and they would attend to the disparities.

Mr Pieterse commended the UCBSA amateur programme. Did UCBSA havea programme for facilities for women and disabled. UCBSA had to that provincial teams develop players for the national squad.

Mr Frolick asked if the UCBSA had any plans to move cricket matches from the white dominated areas to the previously disadvantaged audiences

Mr Sonn replied that they had only dealt with the blind cricketers but the were looking forward to support cricket for both disabled and women.

Mr Morkel (NP) complimented the UCBSA on their transformation. There was consensus among all stakeholders about the representivity of national cricket squad, but differences on the strategy to be adopted. His party wanted players to be brought to the national squad on merit.

Ms Bhengu said that each time they had called a meeting they wanted to know the progress of plans implemented. What difficulties had UCBSA experienced with transformation? Cricket should play a role in social development like eradication of crime and teenage pregnancy. Cricket facilities were needed in the previously disadvantaged areas.Model for transformation such as Cuba could be utilized especially when it came to youth development.

The meeting was adjourned.


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