Andre Nel Retires; Don’t Blame Affirmative Action

I’m not sure why Andre Nel decided to quit international cricket, but last year, he voiced opposition to South Africa’stransformation policy, which attempted to increase the number of minorities in the national team.

Regular readers will know I generally support measures designed to increase team diversity. Opponents argue that merit takes a back seat when other considerations, like race, come into play, but I’m not sure Andre Nel can make that argument.

Looking at South Africa’s current bowling line-up, it’s clear that Nel, while certainly accomplished, isn’t all that great: Dale Steyn’s bowling average (23) is lower than his (31), as is Ntini’s. The Morkel brothers are still too new, but they’re not minorities. If Nel wasn’t picked because of his race, it’s also plausible he wasn’t picked because he’s not good enough.

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4 thoughts on “Andre Nel Retires; Don’t Blame Affirmative Action

  1. A P Webster says:

    My problem with the quota system is that it constantly draws attention to players’ race. A truly equal system would, I hope, be ‘race-blind’ rather than a necessarily crude attempt to ‘redress the balance’. I agree, however, with your main point – the quota system isn’t necessarily an impediment to top-class players of any racial background (Dale Steyn for example is good enough to get picked under any circumstances).

    As for Nel, I think those who(regardless of their own particular allegiances) like to see passionate cricketers will be sad to see him go.

    • duckingbeamers says:

      Why is it necessarily a bad thing to draw attention to race? The issue isn’t race; it’s racism.

      I know reasonable people can disagree about the topic, but a race-blind policy would ultimately only yield a mainly white team, no? That isn’t to say there aren’t outstanding minority players who can hold their own, but I think a concentrated effort to display diversity in the team cannot be argued with, given South Africa’s background.

      And if you think a quota system is too harsh, then I think you should at least devote more administrative and financial resources to minority areas.

  2. beerandsport says:

    Nel was dropped while in the form of his life for Charl Langevelt. The stated reason was transformation. Charl wasn’t happy so they ended up taking another player of colour, his name eludes me for the moment

  3. […] a comment » BeerandSport had an interesting comment on my previous post about Andre Nel’s recent retirement: Nel was dropped while in the form of his life for Charl Langevelt (sic). The stated reason was […]

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