South Africa recently completed a 2-1 Test series (‘Freedom Trophy’ named after Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela) win over India. They lost the third Test at Johannesburg by 63 runs as India bounced back to bag a consolation win.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis was given the trophy at the end of the Test series and the team huddled for a group picture. But can you spot what’s wrong with this picture?
If you notice carefully, all the coloured South African players comprising Hashim Amla, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, K Rabada, Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj are standing on the left while all white players comprising Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, AB de Villiers, Morne Morkel, Duanne Olivier, Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Quinton de Kock and Aiden Markram are standing on the right, dividing the team on the basis of colour in a country which had abolished apartheid since 1991. And the next year in 1992, South Africa made its re-entry into the gentleman’s game.
It could be a mere co-incidence coming from a national cricket team who is making a conscious effort to bring equality in the sports. Cricket South Africa has even put up a policy where on an average a team should field six players of colour, of which two must be black African, in the playing XI. However, this policy is not mandatory for every match, but calculated on an average over the season.
The picture may convey a wrong image, but on the field, South African cricketers are spotted showing great camaraderie among the players. During the Test series, skipper Faf was spotted kissing the forehead of Rabada whenever the pacer took an important wicket. Hope, the group pic was just a mere coincidence and nothing else.