Fri, Apr 28, 2017 | updated 07:47 AM IST

'Will never pick player based on colour', insists Linda Zondi

Updated: Nov 30, 2016 18:24 IST      
'Will never pick player based on colour', insists Linda Zondi

Johannesburg [South Africa], Nov. 30 (ANI): Linda Zondi, South Africa convener of selectors, has asserted that he would "never" pick a player based on the colour of his skin but on the basis of merit only.

"For me, as a convener, I will never pick a player based on colour," he was quoted as saying by Sport24. "I will pick a player based on his ability to represent our country. I will never accept mediocrity."

"The country wants us to do well and to transform and to win matches ... I'm very happy with the talent that we have and we just want to maintain the high standards we have when picking players," he added.

According to the Proteas convener of selectors, the domestic structures in the country are succeeding in widening the pool of black cricketers who are being given opportunities to grow.

Cricket South Africa (CSA), ahead of the 2014/15 domestic season in the country, had already ruled out that each franchise would have to field five players of colour (two black Africans) in every match they played across all formats throughout the season.

In the upcoming season, i.e. 2015/16, this number was increased to six players of colour (three black Africans)

Reflecting on the same, Zondi said they have been drawing a lot of flak before in terms of people criticising their franchise system and transformation.

"We backed the system and the players that we had and fortunately we had some world class players. It became a natural thing," he said.

The cricket board has also decided that the players would not be measured on a match-to-match basis, but rather on an annual average across all three formats.

Speaking about the advantage of the rule, the 40-year-old said, "The board has been very strategic in terms of giving us an annual target and not a match-to-match target, which gives us more room when selecting players."

"It's important to know that ... just because the team is losing, it shouldn't be about transformation. And if the team is winning, it also shouldn't be about an individual," he added.

Zondi further insisted that they are not looking at colour, but at the player.

These comments come in the wake of the political pressure which is there on South Africa's national sporting teams, and has now reached a new level ever since sports minister Fikile Mbalula banned CSA, SA Rugby, Athletics South Africa (ASA) and Netball South Africa (NSA) from bidding for major events back in April due to a lack of transformation.

The South Africa national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks, have been given the target of ensuring that their squad is made up of 50 percent players of colour by the 2019 World Cup, while the Proteas committed to ensuring that 53 percent of their side (six players) will be players of colour moving forward. (ANI)

Sharapova enters Quarterfinals of Stuttgart Open

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 23:20 IST     

Stuttgart [Germany], April 27 (ANI): Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who made her comeback after 15-months of doping ban, registered her second win on Thursday by beating Roberta Vinci to reach the quarter-finals of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart.

Full Story >>

Maria Sharapova congratulates mother-to-be Serena Williams

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 20:28 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr 27 (ANI): Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who marked her competitive return from a 15-month doping suspension with a straight-sets victory over Italy's Roberta Vinci in the opening round of the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday, has offered her congratulations to pregnant rival Serena Williams.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr 27 (ANI): C.K. Khanna, acting president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Thursday said that International Cricket Council's (ICC) revised revenue model is not acceptable to them, adding that they would take a final call on this sensitive issue only after thorough analysis with the board officials.

Full Story >>

'Cheater' Sharapova should not play tennis again: Bouchard

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 19:01 IST     

Johannesburg [South Africa], Apr 27 (ANI): 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard has termed Maria Sharapova as a 'cheater' and said that the Russian tennis star should be kicked out of tennis for life.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Apr 27 (ANI): The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has expressed surprise with Pakistan's decision to call off their tour of Bangladesh in July and August.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr 27 (ANI): Senior BCCI functionary Rajeev Shukla on Thursday asserted that it would not be right for India to pull out of the upcoming Champions Trophy in its act of defiance over the ICC's revised financial model, saying such a move could see them isolated in world cricket.

Full Story >>

Melbourne [Australia], Apr 27 (ANI): Former wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin has backed the national selectors' decision to axe James Faulkner from the Australian squad for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, saying that the all-rounder has not been performing well from over the last one year.

Full Story >>

Pakistan call off Bangladesh tour scheduled for July

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 15:04 IST     

Karachi [Pakistan], Apr 27 (ANI): Pakistan have cancelled their scheduled tour to Bangladesh later this year with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan stating that the decision was taken after mutual consent of both the cricket boards.

Full Story >>

Sports fraternity pays homage to legend Vinod Khanna

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 14:54 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 27 (ANI): The sports fraternity has come in unison to offer their condolences over the demise of veteran actor-politician Vinod Khanna, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 70.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr 27 (ANI): Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel has taken serious note of the incidence of doping in the country and has directed National Anti Doping Agency (NADA), Indian Olympic Association (IOA), National Sports Federations and Sports Authority of India (SAI) to adopt a policy of 'zero tolerance' towards doping.

Full Story >>

IPL 10: Samuels replaces injured de Kock in Daredevils squad

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 13:17 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 27 (ANI): West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels has been roped in by Delhi Daredevils as a replacement for injured South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock for the remainder of the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Full Story >>

BCCI didn't consult me before going to ICC meet: Vinod Rai

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 12:40 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 27 (ANI): Vinod Rai, the head of the BCCI Committee of Administrators (CoA), on Thursday revealed that the office bearers of the national cricket board didn't consult him before going for the recent International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai.

Full Story >>

Dubai [UAE], Apr 27 (ANI): Under ICC's revised financial model, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will receive USD 293 million from the International Cricket Council global revenues for the 2015-23 rights cycle.

Full Story >>

London [U.K], Apr 27 (ANI): Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova marked her competitive return from a 15-month doping suspension with a straight-sets victory over Italy's Roberta Vinci in the opening round of the Stuttgart Open last evening.

Full Story >>

Huth's own goal hands Arsenal 1-0 PL win over Leicester

Updated: Apr 27, 2017 10:03 IST     

London [U.K.], Apr 27 (ANI): Robert Huth struck a goal in his own net as Arsenal secured crucial three points in the race for the Premier League's top-four finish with a 1-0 win over title holders Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium here on Thursday.

Full Story >>

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], Apr 27 (ANI): Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir struck blistering half centuries as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Rising Pune Supergiant by seven wickets in a crucial encounter in the ongoing IPL season 10 at the Saurashtra Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Apr 26 (ANI): Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who has been roped in by Gujarat Lions as a replacement for injured Dwayne Bravo for the remainder of this season of IPL, has asserted that it's a start of a fresh opportunity for him.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra)[India], Apr 26 (ANI): Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday gave a stern reply to Jet Airways pilot who allegedly racially abused and assaulted two passengers on the flight, saying, "We are not bloody Indians but are proud Indians."

Full Story >>

PCB to sue BCCI for dishonouring MoU on bilateral series

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 22:42 IST     

New Delhi [India] Apr 26 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) executive committee chairman Najam Sethi informed on Wednesday that they have decided to sue the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for failing to honour the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two cricket boards in 2014.

Full Story >>

ICC meeting: BCCI loses both revenue and governance votes

Updated: Apr 26, 2017 21:45 IST     

Dubai [UAE], Apr 26 (ANI): In what could be seen as a major setback to the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) influence in the International Cricket Council (ICC), the cricket board on Wednesday lost both the governance and the revenue votes at the crucial ICC meet.

Full Story >>