Duminy: Players not distracted by politics


South Africa all-rounder JP Duminy says that while there is a lot of media coverage about player quotas and transformation, the players tend to ignore the politics and stick to playing cricket.

The issue was raised again late last month when South Africa's sports minister, Fikile Mbalula, announced that cricket, as well as four other major sporting codes, would be banned from hosting international evens as they had not met transformation targets.

But Duminy, playing in the IPL right now, said on the Cricket Australia website when asked if the matter was distracting: "No, I don't think it affects the players at all.

"From a managerial point of view, it can have an impact and makes their job difficult. But from a dressing room point of view, the colour of the skin doesn't matter.

"When it comes to playing for the national team, we feel that you have been picked on merit for your abilities.

"There is always going to be politics around various selection issues and it is not just with South Africa. For any team, there will be selection politics.

"But for us, as players, we don't get involved with that. Our sole job is to play out there on the field and we focus on that."

Another question Proteas players are often asked is why they continue to fail at World Cups, considering they have some of the best players in the world in their ranks. Duminy said it was a matter of timing.

He added: "I don't think anything is wrong to be honest. We have got the players and the staff to go all the way, but unfortunately it just hasn't happened for us.

"Coming into the World T20 I thought we had improved a lot, especially considering (we made) the (50-over World Cup) semi-finals last year. We were in the semi-finals in the 2014 World T20 as well, losing to India.

"We aren't making a lot of mistakes and it is just that we are getting outplayed in those tournaments. This time around our batting and bowling didn't click together in any one match.

"It was alternate; either we weren't doing well with bat or ball. We scored 230 against England and still couldn't win the game. So it is hard to answer that question because there are different opinions as to why it is not happening.

"All I know is that we have given it our best shot and we have ended up on the losing side most of the time, but I also think we are very close to winning an ICC event."