One of the biggest issues in South African cricket is the quota system to develop non-white cricketers. Initially I took the view that a team should pick its best side but being here, reading the local press and and appreciating the political culture, my position has shifted.
One must remember the appalling discrimination of the apartheid era. Golfer Papwa Sewgelum won the Transvaal Open but was not admitted to the club house because of his skin colour. Most non-white cricketers would have parents and grandparents of that era. Secondly the emergence of Hashim Amla as a world class batsman shows that such talent does exist outside the white communities. This argument was reinforced yesterday by Temba Bavuma’s 102. I was interested to see this was reported in some quarters as the first hundred struck by a South African black batsman, Amla is the son of an Indian doctor. Bevuma comes from Lange, 7 miles from Cape Town centre, but a different world.
These issues could be discussed on a largely uneventful day at Newlands as South Africa staved off defeat. One local reporter Telford Vice in Business Day described it thus for South Africa:
“Like eating your recommended annual allowance of broccoli in one sitting: not much fun but good for you”
The weather was brutally hot but a wind got up in the afternoon. Many left at tea as it was still stifling. I can only see a draw unless there is a typical England collapse and run chase.
In the evening Conchita booked the Grand Union Cafe on the beach. It was in reality a beach bar – very noisy with slow service and average food. Daffers says she won’t even dignify the place with a review. However by 10, when tables were emptying, the smell of the sea came in, the night stars out, and Bob Tickler ordered the third bottle of Meerlust and I felt contented with life.