Quotas? What quotas?

22 12 2009

It seems that the issue of quotas is rearing its ugly head again in the South African cricket world.

South African cricket is currently in a pretty healthy situation. They have a settled and world class batting line up, a great keeper, the worlds leading bowler likely to be back from injury plus a debutant who almost bowled them to victory and a newly discovered world class spinner. Previously they had a guy who looked about as threatening as a Robert Croft bowling left handed. From nowhere they have got a bloke who judging by the way England and Bell in particular played him turns it square and has such an unprecedented control of flight that there is no safe way to play him. For my money, had Smith kept Harris on in the last 3 overs the Saffas would have won.

The problem arises when the bowler performing worst, and who by rights should be the one to give way to the returning Steyn, has just played his 100th test, has taken almost 400 wickets and is a legend in his own country. Fine you might say, but everyone’s time comes to and end… Add to this that he is black and suddenly it is highly unlikely he will be dropped. Already I have read several articles and quotes emanating from South Africa which are talking about Ntini’s ability to hold up an end and other workmanlike characteristics but I suspect these are simply ways of saving face for the politicians forcing his retention. I hope I am wrong, and perhaps I am, but to me there is only one cricketing decision – pick Steyn, drop Ntini and keep De Wet who was superb in the second innings. Even Morkel offered more and quite honestly I have never rated him.

Still, as long as they prepare another non turning track and keep picking Harris there should be plenty to confuse England’s fragile line up.




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