JOHANNESBURG: It could, of course, be a complete coincidence. In fact, one would like to believe it is. But this picture of the South African cricket team, posing with the ‘Freedom Trophy’ (named after Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela), after winning the series against India 2-1, has already raised eyebrows on social media.
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Hashim Amla, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj are seen on the left side of the trophy while skipper Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel, Duanne Olivier, Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram are seen on the right. Perhaps without realising it, all the coloured players went to one side, all the white cricketers to the other. There is no other common factor – age, experience, seniority, or scale of achievement – in the way.
The picture that went virat on Social Media (Getty Images)
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For a country still carrying the scars of apartheid – a system of institutionalised racial segregation and discrimination that existed here between 1948 and 1991 – the picture probably sends out exactly the opposite message of what South Africa would like to convey.
TOI wrote to Thabang Moroe, acting CEO of Cricket South Africa (CSA) and also emailed a copy of the picture, asking for his reaction. Moroe had not replied at the time of going to the press.
In fairness, it should be mentioned that the South African team has shown complete camaraderie on the field and skipper Faf du Plessis has often been seen kissing young pacer Kagiso Rabada on the forehead when he picks up a crucial wicket.
Also, during every match played at any venue in South Africa, CSA makes all efforts to highlight the message on every screen available that there is no place for racism in cricket. CSA has also instituted a ‘transformation’ policy, requiring the national team to field a minimum average of six players of colour, of which at least two must be black African, in the XI. The targets are not imposed on the XI in every match they play but calculated on an average basis over the season. It’s a policy that has been the subject of intense discussion here.
Source : timesofindia