Ex-Proteas coach Arthur hoses down 'race row' in South African cricket

Sydney, Mon, 19 Nov 2012 ANI

Sydney, Nov 19(ANI): 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. (ANI)



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