Politics And Sport Is Not A Healthy Mix
Politics has no place in sports.
The South African premier T20 league had their player auction last week with some expected results. These are franchises run as businesses so it does not play political games as players are what achieve the desired results.
A majority of the franchises are owned by the IPL owners wo have done pretty well with their investments thus far. I never paid much attention to the auction as local cricket is a complete disaster as it has been ruined by political interference.
As most of you know the T20 format is very different from all the other forms of cricket played. This is fast quick cricket mixed with flair and skill. There is no time to play yourself in and you either have the skills or you don't. It is that simple yet the National selectors put the team at an immediate disadvantage by selecting at least two players who are decent cricketers, but not up to the demands of the T20 format.
The T20 captain Bavuma was not selected by any of the franchises when his name was up for auction. Many were surprised but sadly as I mentioned above these are businesses selecting the top players. The 6 franchises sign up a maximum of 17 players so in total 102 players are involved and even still there was no spot for Bavuma.
This is what is called "getting egg on your face" as it showed clearly he has not got what it takes. This is why many of the national teams have always felt they have one hand tied behind their backs due to carrying certain individuals. Thankfully in most sports there are enough worthy players to limit the political medaling which has been ongoing for the last 20 years and longer.
Personally I just find this totally distasteful as it is clearly wrong and is insulting not only to the player selected, but the rest of the team and supporters. This is one of the main reasons that turned me off watching the South African teams play as you will only end up disappointed. I don't blame the likes of AB De Villiers from walking away as he was involved in political medaling when he was the captain. Who can forget an injured Vernon Philander passed as match fit only to bowl a handful of balls and leave the field.
I blatantly and openly told the coach that the best player must play. He told me, 'you're the best man for the day, you play'. But they were clearly not open and honest with me and Kyle
He knew he wasn't fit and he knew that Kyle Abbott should have played instead but the political medaling would not allow this. What happened next is both players who were affected by this incident retired and walked away from SA Cricket. This was insulting to both of these players and to the team. I also believe this is what sped up De Villiers walking away from the National team.
The interference in sport by the Government will never fade as they are pushing an agenda different to the sport. This is why so many players leave the country and end up playing for other Nations as they are given the opportunity to play.