SPORTS WITH SCENT
Always knocking never settled
Over the weekend Alfonso Clive Thomas a Cape colored by birth, at the age of 34, I can not help but ask myself how many South African cricket loving fans know him. He played only 1 T20 match for the Proteas and over the weekend he had the honour to captain his county cricket club Somerset against India. That four day match ended in a draw as this English team lead by the Capetonian had the Indians on the ropes until the Indians lasted for a draw.
Alfanso is one of many colored players to "knock on the door" but the Proteas selectors just kept on shutting the door closed on them. Even those that were in, never sat on the comfortable couch. I am talking about Gibbs, Adams, Prince, Langeveldt, Telemachus and now Duminy.
Many people will say I am making a fuss over nothing, Thomas will retire but never really represented the country of his fore fathers but the Cape Cobras all rounder Vernon Philander at a prime age still knocking and if Philander gets in the team he will never settle in the team. Look at Robin Peterson it took 3 world cups for him to get game time. Peterson was a backup then ended up being a very valuable member of the team. If roles were reversed between Botha and Peterson, the colored would have been dropped. Now you might say I am being racist nhe, Mark Boucher as vice captain of SA went on a very bad slump to a point where he got dropped for 1 test series. Boucher was replaced by Thami Tsolekile the only black wicketkeeper to represent the Proteas to date. Kallis as vice captain of the Proteas also went on a bad slump but was never dropped. Ashwell Prince the colored from the Eastern Cape got injured in Australia and never really got his place back in the team, and today his not in the Proteas test team line up, forgot 1 last part he was the vice captain of the team and captained the team in 1 series. The only answer that comes to mind Prince was window dressing transformation in SA cricket.
At this moment I should be sounding like a psycho, take the issue of "Gogga" known at home as Paul Regal Adams he is SA 5th leading test match wicket taker of all time and the leading spin bowler. While things were going well he was the gem of SA cricket, he was idolized everywhere. Gogga was the face of transformation just like Chester Williams in rugby. He started playing for the Proteas at a tender age of 18, his last test match was at a prime age of 27 and today at 34 best years for spin bowlers his a retired professional cricketer. So, Adams never performed well when he played his last Test Series, but then again what did people expect. A man feeling betrayed by a system he thought will always be there for him in good times and bad times and he has to prove himself to the cricket world that he is still valuable for the Proteas. Unless Adams had a super mental strength there was no way he was going to be effective. He was just a boy when he was doing a men's job at the age of 18. Cricket South Africa by 2004 had no use for him, 1. Proteas did not believe in spin bowlers, 2. CSA had a new toy for transformation Makhaya Ntini and 3. CSA had a colored that was loved by the name of Herschelle Gibbs. Adams today will be seen as a failed legend or is it a legend failed by the system. By the way Gibbs only has 90 Test Matches and all those guys got in the team around the same time as him have over a 100 Test Match Caps and Adams only has 45 Caps. hmmm.
Moving on to the close, the biggest low will have to go to Charl Langeveldt who has worked hard through out his career and the day he was picked over Andre Nel brought a national out cry among the white community. Since the demolition of Apartheid Langeveldt was the first colored (African) player to question his inclusion in the Proteas line up, to a point he removed himself in the team and went to England to play county cricket. When a man doubts his ability, it's a sad case (mental weakness).
Alviro Petersen has been in a better form then Smith but yet is over looked. While JP has been in many ads for the Proteas, while not being on form the Proteas want him to be in, I ask how long will they take to find a new colored player for transformation. I hope JP gets his head in order before he suffers the fate of those before him sooner rather then later.
African players unlike their white counterparts only have 1 country and that is SA. The white cricket players are migrating to Europe to play for those countries they can represent even the son of former Proteas captain Keppler Wessels, he looking to play for England since his not good enough for Australia. Is it right that this loyal community is treated this way. These men leave their homes everyday to play a sport they love, the number one goal is to wear that jersey and represent their country. Once they get there is it fair that they are never comfortable in a position of fighting for their country. Is it fair when they reach sell by date they are tossed like a cake container once the cake is finished. Others will never get that opportunity to fight for their country because most the current squad is busy playing the game hence the Indians and Australians are still ahead of us.