Johannesburg: The success of South African fast bowler Lonwabo Tsotsobe during his team’s emphatic win over Bangladesh on Saturday has raised new political challenges for Cricket South Africa (CSA) about including more black members in the national squad.
Tsotsobe enhanced his stake in the final eleven after returning with match figures of 3-14 during the teams last World Cup league match, which earned the fast bowler man of the match trophy and also catapulted South Africa to the top of group B.
The bowler being the only black player in the team, after Makhaya Ntini retired in January this year, has though raised some serious questions regarding the inconspicuous presence of coloured players in the national squad after a decade-long transformation initiative.
Previous interventions by sports ministers has seen selectors being forced to impose racial quotas to include more black players in the national squad but the results have been disastrous.
The happenings have forced CSA chief executive Gerald Majola to repeatedly declare that players were chosen on merit and not race.
There are also questions among fans now about why the 27-year-old Tsotsobe was side-lined during earlier games of the World Cup and whether he will be included in the teams enterprise to lift the elusive trophy.
Acting President of Cricket South Africa (CSA), A K Khan, however, said only the selection committee could make a decision on who is in the side that takes on the field in future games.
Khan, though, appeared to concede that there were issues around transformation. "We are working to address transformation in the team. It is a matter that is very close to our hearts. It`s a slow process but we are working on it," he said.
Tsotsobe, on the other hand, seems to have taken it all in his stride as he expressed satisfaction with his performance against Bangladesh.
"I feel very chuffed and even if I don`t play in the next game, it doesn`t matter because I`m still part of the tournament," Tsotsobe had said after the game.