An exploration of selection criteria of club cricketers in the greater Cape Town area
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Since the advent of cricket in the 16th century the process of team selection has been fervently debated. However, only a handful of research papers can be found on this topic. In South Africa specifically, this process is further complicated by the country's apartheid past. This current study is imperative in order to explore selection criteria used by cricket selectors and coaches. A further aim of the current study is to explore cricket players' perceptions of which factors they deem as important in their own selection. The study used a Symbolic Internationalism (SI) theory as a theoretical framework. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample of 10 participants consisting of players, coaches and selectors from various cricketing institutions within the greater Cape-Town area. A qualitative approach was used to conduct the study, including semi-structured individual interviews and data was analysed using thematic analysis. This thematic analysis presented in two thematic categories, with corresponding themes discussed accordingly. These thematic categories were "Selection criteria that could be, or is used" and "What factors affect team selection". Participants revealed several factors that affect the selection of the team ranging from player availability to pitch conditions. In terms of Selection Criteria, the participants focused on the physiological attributes of an ideal player, however also mentioned key psychological attributes such as awareness, resilience, mental strength and adaptability. This research study identified several elements which coaches should incorporate into their training schedules, and that players can work on privately. Furthermore, this study seeks to contribute to the limited knowledge base available with regard to Cricket Team Selection in South Africa. The ethical principles adhered to in this study were informed confidentiality, anonymity, voluntary participation and being informing participants of their right to withdraw from the study at any point with no repercussions.