CSA steps back from affirmative action policy on hiring consultants

South Africa
Jacques Kallis and Paul Harris were been re-employed by South Africa for the 2020-21 summer © Getty Images

CSA’s affirmative action policy for hiring consultants has been placed in abeyance by the interim board, which also suspended new transformation targets last month. That means that South Africa can make use of white consultants should they wish too, although it may be too late to recover the services of Jacques Kallis who has signed a short-term deal with England.

“The entire document adopted by the previous board has been put on hold. We are taking legal advice regarding the document and whatever obligations CSA had in terms of it,” Judith February, interim board member, told ESPNcricinfo.

The document February referred to was presented by the old board to South Africa’s parliament in August and also detailed tougher transformation targets that would have required the national team to field seven players of colour including at least three black Africans. The interim board, which is due to remain in place until the end of January, has reverted the transformation targets to what they have been since implementation in the 2015-16 season (six players of colour of which at least two must be black African on average over the course of a season) and may introduce a different policy before the tenure ends in February.

Similarly, it may now offer guidance on how South Africa can contract consultants, which could reopen the door for Kallis and Paul Harris, who was used as a spin-bowling coach in the 2019-20 season.

Kallis was appointed as batting consultant for the national men’s team last summer but was not re-engaged this season after CSA confirmed it would apply a policy of black African and non-white candidates as far as possible. In September, then-acting CEO, Kugandrie Govender, told ESPNcricinfo that white consultants would still be considered if “there is a particular skill that only a white consultant can offer CSA”.

Nine days later, CSA confirmed the appointment of Neil McKenzie as high-performance batting lead, which includes working across the men’s, women’s, age-group and academy sides. McKenzie was brought in as an employee and not a consultant. Since then, Kallis has joined England as batting consultant for their series against Sri Lanka but it is unclear whether he will remain with them for the India series.

South Africa travel to Pakistan for a series that begins at the end of January and are due to host Australia for three Tests in February-March and ESPNcricinfo understands some national-team batsmen are keen to have Kallis involved again.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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