Jonty Rhodes Credits South Africa Cricket Career To 'White Privileges' More Than Merit

Cricket News

Jonty Rhodes has scored 2500 Test and 5900 ODI runs for South Africa in his stint with the team that lasted until 2000. He is an all-time fielding great.

Written By Mrigank Pandey | Mumbai | Updated On:
Jonty Rhodes

In his day, former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes gained a lot of acclaim for his athletic fielding in international cricket. The long-retired batsman, who was in India for an event, candidly talked about the struggles that South Africa faces as it tries to bring equal opportunities despite a player's race. Here is what Rhodes said.

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Jonty Rhodes get honest about his selection

To combat the issues around racial segregation and unequal opportunities, the South African team currently follows a quota system where they have to field at least six players of colour over the course of a season. These six players should also consist of two 'Black' Africans. When batsman Temba Bavuma was not picked for the second Test match versus England, SA's target quota was not fulfilled and the selection strategy brought to surface the woes faced by the Proteas team.

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According to Rhodes, the lack of work opportunities for disadvantaged communities in South Africa is what is keeping the sport from uncovering cricketing gems. Rhodes compared South Africa's cricket team with the country's world champion rugby team and explained how cricket can learn from it. Dark-skinned cricketers have not been getting equal opportunities and Rhodes was completely empathetic towards this fact.

To convey his feelings, Rhodes even shared an instance from his life where he talked about being selected in the Proteas squad. Rhodes termed his selection as 'white privilege' and acknowledged how he played for the team in an era where disadvantaged communities were not even getting a chance to play the game. The racial quota is of importance to the current setup as it gives players of all backgrounds the chance to represent their country. Rhodes even made a humbling statement in which he said how his South Africa selection was easy despite his mediocre statistics. "I wasn’t really competing with 50% of the population", Rhodes added.

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After Kagiso Rabada was handed a one-match ban by the ICC and Lungi Ngidi sustained an injury, South Africa will most probably be playing Temba Bavuma in the fourth and the final Test of the series against England. England are leading the series 2-1.

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