They are never given full credit for their abilities: Michael Holding

Shubham Singh
30 Oct 2021
10:48
They are never given full credit for their abilities: Michael Holding

Michael Holding has criticized the South African cricket quota system for people of color, calling it an “unnecessary burden” and something that takes the credit away from the players. The quota system makes it necessary for a South African team to accommodate a person of color. Holding revealed his thoughts during the Social Justice and National Building (SJN) hearings that aim to reveal testimonies of the experiences generated by people of color during their careers.

Seamer Makhaya Ntini who came through the system as the first black player went on to take 390 Test wickets and 266 ODI wickets but got the label of “quota player” throughout his career. Holding pointed that out and said Ntini’s quota label diminished his accomplishments as a fast bowler.

The quota system, I have heard that used on so many occasions when referring to South African cricketers of colour, that they are only there because the regulations say they have to be there. They are never given full credit for their abilities. I spoke to Ali Bacher about it in 2003 when I came to do (as a commentator) the World Cup. I suggested then that is an unnecessary burden for players of colour in South Africa to carry. When you pick someone just because you think you have to have certain boxes ticked, whether they are good or not. They are carrying an extra burden because there will always be people who say they are only there because regulations say they have to be there. That is a burden that Makhaya Ntini carried throughout his career. He spoke about it when I spoke to him for the book and I think it is unfair. He was a fantastic cricketer, his record proves that, everybody knows that, and not just in the latter stages of his career. From the early stages of his career he proved his worth and that he belonged there but kept on carrying that burden of being pointed out as being there only because regulations said he should be there.

Michael Holding

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