The changing face of Zimbabwean Sport: The Quota Debate
The British colony of Rhodesia, later governed by a white settler minority as a unilaterally-independent country, practiced racial segregation in many spheres, including education, sport, health care access and political participation. Though racial segregation tended to exist on a less formal level than its neighbor, apartheid South Africa, segregationist policies were nonetheless invasive and virtually complete in some areas. Sport was a heavily contested sphere, in which pockets of black African autonomy and advancement existed alongside near-complete white domination, largely, but not entirely, free of government intrusion. The racism issue in Zimbabwe cricket was in fact, different from usual racism issues. The problem was not that the white cricketers were being racist towards the black cricketers; the issue was that the black cricketers had not had equal opportunities to become as experienced as the whites and therefore the black selectors were so fearful that they would be discriminated against that they therefore became discriminatory themselves. I believe this problem was directly connected to scientific racism because the black cricket selector’s main fear was that the whites would exclude them and feel superior.
In order to correct the injustices of the past, the black cricket selectors introduced The Integration Task Force whose goals were, amongst others, to ensure at least 7 black players were in the National Team. The thinking behind this was to have a national team whose ethnicity reflected 98% of the country’s population. On the other side of the argument were generational white cricket selectors who felt selection should be based on cricketing performance alone and that the best people to judge this would be selectors with international cricketing experience. They justified this by saying that Zimbabwe would lose their international test cricketing status if they fielded a weak...
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