on board?: Victor Mpitsang. Picture: Gallo Images
Cricket South Africa (CSA) is lining up former Proteas fast bowler Victor Mpitsang to be the first black African selector.
As reported in The New Age last week, CSA is considering appointing a black African selector in an attempt to better represent the country’s demographics.
CSA board members confirmed that Mpitsang’s name had been tabled at one of their meetings last month.
But there are mixed reactions from some of the provincial unions over whether the 32-year-old former paceman, who played just two One Day Internationals for South Africa in 1999, is the right man for the job.
KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union said it welcomed the appointment of a black African selector but objected to Mpitsang’s experience in selection players, particularly at youth level.
“The appointment of black African selectors on the CSA panel is long overdue,” said KZN union president Hafeez Jaffer.
“But I think CSA should instead look into the direction of the franchises, there are two or three unions who have black African selectors who have been in the system for years and who have the knowledge of working with the youth like the SA U-19s.
“You don’t need to have been contracted to the national team before to know how to spot talent when you see one, so I think the franchises and youth levels should be the way to go.”
Rihaan Richards, the president of Griqualand West, where Mpitsang hails from, said although it was still unofficial “the appointment will be a fantastic one”.
“Mpitsang is a humble man with a great personality and I know from having worked with him in Kimberly that he’ll do a great job as a selector,” said Richards.
The national selection panel comprises of Andrew Hudson (convenor), Corrie van Zyl (representing the national coach’s post) and Shafiek Abrahams (representing the high performance manager’s post) with Graeme Smith (representing the captain’s post) as a selector for the final starting eleven.
“We want to transform and reflect the demographics of our country as best as possible,” CSA acting CEO Jacques Faul said.
“A black African selector is needed to help address representation on all levels, which includes management.”