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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 11 March, 2003, 13:31 GMT
SA's uncertain future
By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport in Johannesburg

Andre Nel
Youngsters like Nel could be lost to South Africa
All the talk here is about how South African cricket has reached a major crossroads in the wake of the team's disastrous showing at the World Cup.

And the dreaded quota issue is again on the agenda as uncertainties affect both domestic and international cricket.

Allan Donald and Jonty Rhodes have retired from international cricket, though interestingly neither is giving up his playing career.

Donald has signed a two-year deal to play for - and probably captain - Bloemfontein-based Free State.

Rhodes, meanwhile, will be leaping about in his favoured backward point position for Gloucestershire for the whole of the next English season.

And former Test umpire Cyril Mitchley believes that two much younger cricketers have also been prematurely lost to county cricket.

"The youngster who is going to Northamptonshire, Andre Nel, has played for South Africa before," Mitchley told BBC Sport.

"I believe he is three times the bowler Monde Zondeki is. I think he is someone who is upset by the quota system and we've lost Nic Pothas to Hampshire for the same reason."

Former Test umpire Cyril Mitchley, now a provincial selector
It is putting off young white kids at nets because they know the guy of colour has an advantage
Cyril Mitchley
Former Test umpire and provincial selector
Nel has a clause in his county deal to allow for an unexpected call-up.

But another fast bowler, Nantie Hayward, has turned his back on South African cricket by signing for Worcestershire.

Mitchley, convenor of selectors for provincial champions Easterns, has controversial views on the requirement that non-white players must be a fixture in domestic sides.

The same guidelines implicitly affected selection of the national team during the World Cup.

There were apparent disagreements between captain Shaun Pollock and the selectors throughout the tournament.

Mitchley believes most of the money South Africa makes from the World Cup should go to developing cricket in underprivileged areas.

But he is dead set against the quota system.

"I believe it is putting off young white kids at nets because they know the guy of colour has an advantage."

We have a legacy that we have to correct, and we have to learn to function successfully within that context
Omar Henry
SA chief of selectors
Johan van Heerden, sales and marketing director at Free State, takes a less negative view of South African cricket compared to Mitchley.

He says: "All the players at Free State have an ultimate aim to play for South Africa.

"In Allan's case it was not an easy decision. He clearly feels he has two years of good cricket left in him and his situation is a lot more difficult than other players."

Corrie van Zyl is returning as coach and there is no money left in the kitty to keep on Jimmy Adams, who has captained Free State for two seasons.

But the 35-year-old West Indian takes a laid-back view.

"I am looking to play for another South African side, but if it doesn't work out I'll spend two years fishing in Jamaica instead."




SEE ALSO
Where did it all go wrong for SA?
04 Mar 03 |  South Africa
SA to field more non-whites
20 Feb 03 |  South Africa
Nel agrees Northants deal
13 Feb 03 |  World Cup
Hayward quits SA for county
13 Feb 03 |  Worcestershire
SA make U-turn on quotas
11 Jul 02 |  Cricket


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