CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Cricket South Africa (CSA) remains committed to its transformation agenda according to president Chris Nenzani, despite missing racial quota targets for the second test running against England at Newlands.
To redress imbalances from the country's apartheid era, CSA targets two black African players and four from the mixed-race and Indian communities in each team, averaged through the year. For the last two tests this has fallen short by two.
Black African batsman Temba Bavuma missed the first match of the four-game series in Pretoria through injury but, despite being vice-captain on the recent tour of India in October, was overlooked for selection for the second and sent back to play for his provincial union.
He has a modest test average of 31.24 from 39 matches since making his debut in 2014.
Bavuma's exclusion meant the racial quota for South African cricket teams again fell short in Cape Town, drawing some social media criticism and raised eyebrows from local media.
"CSA is fully cognisant of the fact that transformation is a very critical strategy in achieving equity in our country," Nenzani said in a media statement on Saturday.
"Our commitment has been demonstrated in the policies adopted in respect of transformation since February 2013. This commitment remains as central to our governance and operations as it has been over the last few years.
"As far as our national representative teams are concerned the evaluation of the achievement of the targets over a year is meant to give team management the flexibility to select teams based on the unique match to match requirements and in line with obtaining objective realities."
CSA has also been publicly criticised for not doing more to develop the game in rural areas of the country, where access to facilities and opportunity remains slim for much of the population.
But Nenzani says the South African government has not played its part in an agreement that was signed with CSA five years ago to work on redressing this.
"In 2015 a tripartite agreement was signed by the then Department of Sport and Recreation, the Department of Basic Education and CSA," he said.
"The full implementation of this agreement is yet to be experienced. The state has a critical role in rolling back the legacy of our divided past in sport.
"As the national federation for cricket, we are committed to our obligation to redress of the past patterns of inequality but we cannot do it alone."