CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA (CSA), the Gauteng Cricket Board, Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), the Department of Basic Education (DBE), Gauteng Department of Education, Statistics SA and Mindset have all joined forces and combined their respective resources to accelerate the development and transformation of the game in the Gauteng province.
This is the start of CSA’s new plan to develop a collaborative approach to tackle the challenge of transforming schools sports to accelerate cricket playing opportunities and thereby increasing the pool of cricketers at school level in the shortest possible time frame. Similar collaborations will be undertaken in all the other provinces.
The meeting was arranged to design a strategy to augment the existing CSA pipeline plans so that meaningful growth in the quality and number of schools playing cricket is achieved. There will be great emphasis on developing cricket in township schools where opportunities to play the game have been previously limited. This is the main reason why CSA’s efforts to unearth new talent have been constrained.
The group acknowledged that CSA has a proven record over many years of actively engaging in schools cricket and successfully producing international role models across all age groups. There are many players who have gone on to play for both the men and women Proteas National Teams.
“At last I feel like we have a real chance to make a stepped change,” said CSA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat.
“It was truly different and most heartening to have all the key stakeholders gathered in one room and sharing the same vision.
“For us to make meaningful strides in transforming schools cricket over the next few years we need the wisdom and support of all stakeholders and only through successful collaboration can we achieve our goals. This partnership will add greatly to the good work currently being done by CSA,” explained Lorgat.
The group wishes to address the following key areas:
• Improve access to cricket playing opportunities and level the playing fields in disadvantaged areas
• Addresses SRSA’s and CSA’s Transformation goals
• Build social cohesion
• Create an active and healthy nation
Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, welcomed the initiative by the DBE, SRSA and CSA to grow the base of cricket in our schools, particularly in the townships and in rural areas.
"Playing sports is a vital part of a holistic education," said Minister Motshekga.
Her thoughts were echoed by her counterpart at SRSA, Minister Fikile Mbalula.
“We welcome the initiative to spread cricket to South African Schools especially those in rural and townships areas. This great initiative fits perfectly with our transformation agenda which stresses the importance of schools sport in nurturing and developing young talent. Moreover, it focuses on the implementation of the National Sport and Recreation Plan Objectives which form the integral part of the Government-wide National Development Plan. Schools sport remains the bedrock to sport development in our country,” commented Minister Mbalula.
All the above stakeholders have committed to meet regularly to finalise their plans and to create a template for the entire country to share. The project will be piloted in Gauteng from where it will be rolled out to the rest of South Africa.