The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Club for India connection

Durban: An Indian-origin cricket club here has launched a major campaign to bring their players into the national side, which still remained a team largely representing the “privileged community”.

The Chatsworth United Cricket Club, which was established in 1965 in the giant Indian residential area of Chatsworth, launched the campaign at the Sun Coast Casino and Entertainment Resort in the city Wednesday night.

“The club was very concerned that 12 years after integration in cricket there was not a single player of Indian origin in the national side,” club CEO and general manager Dr Ravi Govender said.

He said except for two coloured players, the national team is largely represented by the privileged community in South Africa.

“To us this is just amazing — and we have therefore relaunched our club by proclaiming that ‘the time has come for us to act’,” he said.

He said countries like England, West Indies, New Zealand, Canada, Zimbabwe, Holland and Kenya have Indian players in their teams but South Africa was still unable to produce a single national player from the large Indian population.

Despite more than r100 million being put into development there were only two regular players of colour in the national team while there are 4,000 Indian league players in Kwa Zulu-Natal (KZN).

There are 150 senior Indian teams in KZN alone and almost 60 per cent of all juniors here are Indian.

“These facts are worrying and we decided that we must act on them. We are not prepared to sit back and let things happen as they did during the apartheid days. The time has come for us to act — and we will,” Govender said.

While a number of Indian-origin businessmen have already donated large sums of money for the club to produce quality players, he said the club would provide the best facilities and coaches for their players.

If need be they would either send some players to India or invite players from there to join the club, he added.

“We want to send a clear message to the powers that we cannot be ignored any longer,” he said. (PTI)

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