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Thursday, 31 October, 2002, 17:46 GMT
SA at loggerheads on quotas
Makhaya Ntini and Robin Petersen in action for South Africa
The UCB argues that quotas ar no longer necessary
South Africa's sports minister has put pressure on the national cricket board to reinstate race quotas, scrapped just four months ago.

Ngconde Balfour urged the United Cricket Board (UCB) to read a government-sponsored report into the matter and re-assess its decision to scrap quotas in the first-class game.


Maybe there are one or two recommendations we can do some juggling on
Ngconde Balfour
The UCB argued in July that quotas requiring at least four black players in domestic sides were unnecessary as there were enough black players who could be selected on merit.

But after threats of disruption to the 2003 World Cup, the board committed to select five black players in the national squad.

Balfour said there was no way he could not endorse the report, released on Thursday, which said the decision to scrap race quotas "requires urgent and fundamental reconsideration."

It recommended that quotas be reinstated with increased "transformation targets".

Dispute

Balfour told South African parliament he would not demand the country's cricket authorities comply with the report's recommendations.

"I want to persuade the UCB to read the report," he said. "This is not about forcing - there is no reason to do that. We want to reach a consensus.

SA sports minister Ngconde Balfour
Balfour says he will not force the UCB to act
"Yes, I'm tough and speak my mind but that's because in some villages in this country where cricket is played people are still asking, 'Why are you letting us down?'.

"There is no way I cannot endorse what is in this report. It is a report that I myself commissioned.

"Maybe there are one or two recommendations we can do some juggling on."

UCB president Percy Sonn, though, took issue with the committee that compiled the report.

"UCBSA disagrees with the terms of reference and the composition of the committee," Sonn said in a statement.

"The problems the UCBSA foresaw compromised any findings the committee may make."

See also:

01 Nov 02 | International
11 Jul 02 | Cricket
08 Jul 02 | Cricket
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