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Story Why Players keep leaving South African Cricket | Indian tour of South Africa 2006-07


So the story start on 17th December 2006

India is playing South Africa in the first of 3 test series.

The odi series between the two countries

held right before the test

ended in a complete whitewash of India…

Hence south african’s were hoping for an equally easy match…


things were about to go wrong..

Very wrong.

South Africa in it’s first innings

Was all out at 84 runs.

on the backfoot

they were desperately trying

to claw back there way into the game

When On day 3 of the test

A Sunday

A news article broke out in the Sunday times.

Kallis had been photographed

Not singing the national anthem

At the start of the match.

Now it may not look like much nowadays.

Many players choose not to sing it.

But South Africa At the time

Was a melting pot of racial tensions.

The Apartheid had ended in 1994.

But the scars of those brutal laws still remained,

Apartheid – if you don’t now

Were a series of laws passed in south Africa

Which discriminated against the blacks & coloured people

They were not allowed to vote, marry or even own property

outside certain areas.
When it had finally ended in 1994,

Nelson mandela

had ordered the creation of a New national anthem

A combination of the old National anthem

And a famous South African freedom struggle song.

A new anthem

which would be a symbol of unity and hope.

And Kallis had refused to sing that national anthem.

People as you may guess

Were angry.

& of them called Ebrahim Sadak,

On 18th of December 2006

wrote directly to Ros Goldin,

Cricket South Africa’s marketing manager,

Asking whether Kallis thought he was indispensible

or “anti new SA”.

Ross goldin responded to the letter


“While we do encourage all our players to sing the anthem,

it is at their discretion whether they wish to do so.

It is simply his right

within a democratic environment

not to sing.”

Sadak wasn’t happy with the answer

And hence now directly wrote to Kallis

Now let’s get this very straight.

Kallis had no need to say anything

Or he could have just said

he didn’t feel like singing.6
But maybe on account

of his patriotism getting questioned
Or due to the frustration that they had just lost to India…

For the first time in a test on south African soil.

Kallis wrote back

It is my choice whether I sing or do not sing the anthem,”

“I certainly do not have to explain my reasons to anyone,

especially you.

I do have good and valid personal reasons

and I intend to keep it that way.”

That letter Kicked the hornets nest.

The statement was received as an unwritten confirmation

of public belief.

And words like traitor & Racist

were being thrown left & right.

& as if the public outrage wasn’t enough

The chief executive officer of cricket south africa or CSA

that is the chief board of cricket in south africa

Actually, came forward to make the statement.

that t Board

“insists on having the SA anthem sung”.

And that Kallis will be put to question by the board.

Now in a few days

came the official explanation
kallis recently lost both his parents,
and he was particularly close to his father

They would often sing the anthem together,
and his father was very proud

that his son was playing for South Africa.

Kallis told me that he sings the anthem

in his heart

in a quiet moment

in remembrance of his parents

The chief executive
was happy with this explanation,

And hence Kallis would be henceforth exempt

from Singing the national anthem.

Now this explanation can be easily torn apart,
Which was done by many newspaper at the time

First of all,

He did not lose both of his parents recently,

HIs mother had passed when he was just a kid…

While his dad passed away in 2003

This incident though happened at the end of 2006

And yes

Kallis & his father were very close….

So we can understand that it pains him to
sing the anthem
Then why would he be ok
with singing it in his heart?


in spite of some grumblings…

Because the national board had okayed it.

The controversy died down….

Till Kallis made a tweet

10 years later….

“So sad that i find myself embarrassed
to call myself a South African so often these days

no place for politics in sport,”


What Kallis was talking about here…

Also happened to be an article Posted on another newspaper

On the same day that

that Article was published in Sunday Times.

This article was written by Nike boje

A white south African player

who was actually supposed to play in that 1st test

But couldn’t

Due to the quota system in place.

Now south Africa

A country with more than 90% coloured population…

Had sports teams which were mostly white

Hence a quota system was introduced in 1996

To increase the involvement of the former…

But those laws

Which had started with the quota

of 1 coloured player…

Had become 5 players in 2016

& were about to go to 7 out of 11 by 2022

But the problem was even in 2016.

Most of the domestic circuits

were still dominated by white players

That means most of the talent

was just competing for those 5 places.

While a majority of the coloured population

who had never gotten any support or training

had to be put into the remaining 5 places…

As a result of this policy

Talented white players started leaving south Africa

play in other countries citing this as unfair treatment.

While coloured players felt

that were just filling the spot

while bringing the team strength down.


about the inadequacies of the quota system…

Asking for fair competition in team selections…

Atleast at the national level

The point is simple

If you want to put quota system in place

Then at least make sure,

that you are putting enough training facilities on grass roots levels..

So that the coloured players can actually fight on equal ground.

& to be fair CSA Had plans of doing just that.

Before they imploded and burst in flames….

Today, CSA has been banned,

Government has taken over,

And ICC has decided to keep a close

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