Ray Mali: One black player in Proteas T20 WC squad is unacceptable

Ray Mali: One black player in Proteas T20 WC squad is unacceptable

Former Cricket South Africa president Raymond Mali is not a happy man as he believes the state of cricket in the country is headed backwards.

Speaking to SABC Sport, Mali has raised concerns with the current Proteas team headed to the USA and West Indies for next month’s ICC T20 Men’s World Cup. 

READ: Uncapped Ryan Rickelton, Ottniel Baartman in Proteas' T20 World Cup squad

With former skipper Temba Bavuma left out, and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi placed on the standby list, Kagiso Rabada is the sole black player in the team, and Mali says this is not acceptable.

"I believe a lot has been achieved, but I believe we have gone backwards in terms of cricket – we have taken a step backwards instead of going forward," said Mali.

"I cannot understand why we can't have a [larger] number of black players in the South African cricket team at this day and age – no, it's not acceptable.

"We have betrayed the people who asked us to negotiate unity for this country. Players are mentored or monitored right from their early days up to the top, so you know which players will represent South Africa."

Mali, who also served as the International Cricket Council (ICC) president between 2007 and 2008, says the current policy of only having white-ball head coach Rob Walter as the sole selector needs to be reviewed.

"A system of giving the team to one person to select, it's not going to work in a country like ours. We need the coach, together with a selection panel – let's go back to it," he stated.