Sport, history, race: the complexity of cricket in South Africa

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Sport, history, race: the complexity of cricket in South Africa

In this episode, we chat with two journalists from South Africa – Firdose Moonda and Telford Vice. We explore South Africa’s win against India as well as the political issues that have loomed over the recent series.

Note: Readers in India can now buy Mike Marqusee’s classic cricket book War Minus The Shooting at the Atta Galatta bookstore in Bangalore. They are happy to courier copies to those outside Bangalore if you write in at: (You can also tweet at their handle:

Talking Points:

  • South Africa’s remarkable Test series win against India
  • A victory coming after a period of turmoil for South African cricket
  • The value of the private school system as a talent pool for South African cricket
  • The Kolpak myth – and why South Africa didn’t lose as much as it seemed
  • The complexities of kneeling – and why it is not as binary as one would think
  • The SJN hearings – a moment of awakening for cricket in the country
  • The platform that the SJN offered for many non-white cricketers to be heard
  • An opportunity lost with several leading cricketers not offering testimonies
  • Makhaya Ntini’s remarkable confession
  • Boucher, Smith, and the possible paths forward


Firdose Moonda (@firdoseM)

Telford Vice (@telfordvice)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)


Fidose Moonda’s articles on ESPNcricinfo

Telford Vice’s articles on Cricbuzz

Thirty years after readmission: how far has South Africa cricket come since 1991 – Firdose Moonda – The Cricket Monthly

Flawed but necessary: SJN hearings reveal no heroes, no villains – Firdose Moonda – ESPNcricinfo

Paul Adams: I was nicknamed ‘brown s*** when I was playing’ – ESPNcricinfo

Many shades of grey in the Boucher battle – Telford Vice – Cricbuzz

The end of SA’s rainbow that never was – Telford Vice – Cricbuzz

South African cricket deserves better than the SJN report – Telford Vice – Cricbuzz

Bavuma stands up to the fire – Telford Vice – Cricbuzz


Lead image from here.

4 thoughts on “Sport, history, race: the complexity of cricket in South Africa”

  1. This was a wonderful, nuanced podcast on complex topic. David Foster Wallace once praised a Mark Danner essay for being “clear without being simplistic, comprehensive without being overwhelming and critical without being shrill.” We could say about the same of this hour of conversation. Thanks Firdose, Telford, and Sidvee!

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