Langeveldt longs for equality

South African bowlers divided by race

By Phil Jackson   Last updated: 19th March 2008   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Langeveldt longs for equality

Langeveldt and Nel: At the centre of controversy

I have always fought for a place in the team, but I don't want to be put there because of my colour.

Charl Langeveldt
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Charl Langeveldt says political interference on matters of race have forced him to reconsider his international future with South Africa.

The 33-year-old seamer, who is of mixed race, has withdrawn from the Proteas' tour of India after being selected ahead of paceman Andre Nel in order to fulfil the nation's racial quota.

South Africa's three-Test series begins in India on March 26, but Langeveldt insists players should be picked on merit rather than on the colour of their skin.

"As players, we all have a good idea of when we are clearly in the running for selection and when we aren't," said Langeveldt.

"You just have to look at Andre's Test record compared to mine and the fact that he has been part of all the Test plans while I haven't played a Test for over two years.

"I have always fought for a place in the team, but I don't want to be put there because of my colour.

"Up to now I have been very happy in my role in the ODI (One-Day International) team and I know my value there. I'm quite upset by this now and I'm going to need a bit of time to consider my future."

Standoff

A similar situation was only narrowly avoided in February, when Cricket South Africa (CSA) president Norman Arendse vetoed the squad heading to Bangladesh because it only contained four black players.

CSA chief executive Gerald Majola approved the team on that occasion, but there has been a standoff between the country's two leading cricket administrators since.

South African players' association (SACA) chief executive officer Tony Irish has called for changes to the selection process as a result.

"South Africa stands to lose two of its premier fast bowlers, Charl Langeveldt and Andre Nel, because of political interference in selection," Irish said.

"Charl Langeveldt's request to be removed from the squad to tour India is the desperate unhappiness of a player who knows that he has been selected for this tour for quota reasons.

"Any form of veto, interference or involvement in the selection of the Proteas by anyone who is not a selector should be abolished.

"The players believe in the goals of transformation, but all of them - black and white - are adamant that this should not be achieved by interfering in the selection of the national team."

No decision has yet been made by the selectors as to whether Langeveldt will be replaced.

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