Sydney: Former South African coach Mickey Arthur has tried to hose down the recent race debate that erupted following former fast bowler Makhaya Ntini’s remarks over non-selection of wicket keeper Thami Tsolekile.
Ntini, a former Proteas star, raised eyebrows a few weeks ago when he claimed Tsolekile ‘would be playing for the Proteas if he was white.’
Black Africans make up 40 million of South Africa`s 50 million population and yet following the decline of Ntini there have been none in the South African side.
There is a push publicly and privately for Tsolekile, the only black African in South Africa`s 16-man squad, to replace Duminy and take the keeping gloves from AB de Villiers.
“I genuinely feel the South African cricket team has gone past all that now. They`re in a really good place as a unit and a team. There are enough players of colour that are playing on absolute merit in their starting line-up,’ News.com.au quoted Arthur, as saying.
“I honestly don`t think it is a massive issue. Yes, there are always checks and balances in place. There is a target system. I had those targets we had to meet but I had really good men around me,” he added.
“Yes, it was always there, and sometimes it was a throw away line when someone got left out but I honestly don`t see it as a massive issue any more. The system is producing enough players of all colours to make that quota system almost irrelevant at the moment,” he said.
Arthur added: “When you`ve got a dressing room full of different races, religions and cultures its a volatile pot. When I was in South Africa we used that as our competitive edge and I`m pretty sure they`re doing it at the moment.”
“The competitive edge of combining all those races into one team makes South Africa a very good cricket side. It galvanised the team, it the galvanised the nation,” he said.