Johannesburg: Former Cricket South Africa selection panel chairman Rushdie Magiet has alleged that sport is still riven with racial prejudice in the country.
Magiet is one of the four independent members, who have been named by Cricket South Africa to join an eight-member team, which will oversee the total restructuring of the board. "From the comments I've heard in meetings, and from what I've heard from captains and coaches, I can say things are far from changed," Magiet told a newspaper.
"People's hearts have not changed, we need to be wary of that," added Magiet, who put the blame for players in the national side not being representative of South Africa's racial composition squarely on the difficulty of developing cricketers in underdeveloped areas.
"We know the conditions that poor people live in. We know it's not easy to bring cricketers through in those areas," he said. Commenting on his stint as chairman of the selection panel at CSA from 1999 to 2002, Magiet said he was not there to select players from a particular race.
"But people are blind when it comes to the talent of certain groups, they cannot see the talent," Magiet alleged. He also felt that appointing administrators from a purely business background to restructure CSA at the expense of seasoned sports officials would not necessarily bring about the required transformation.