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..
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 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,
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
& 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,
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
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
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