Three pertinent facts were all but lost in the commotion of what Faf du Plessis and Steve Smith thought about the way that Kagiso Rabada is allowed to play in the third test at Newlands on Thursday.
Top of that short list is that South Africa will miss their transformation stipulation as agreed with the ministry of sport.
From the beginning of May last year to the end of April this year, at least 54.54% of South Africa’s players needed to be generic black and 18.67% of them black Africans.
South Africa have fielded 407 players in that time, 198 of them generic black and 76 black African. The percentages are therefore 48.64 and 18.67.
And what with only two matches left in their campaign before the end of April there’s no chance of them making up the shortfall.
Penalties on sport codes for not making up the numbers with the ministry range from funding cuts to being prevented from bidding to host major events to the withdrawal of that code’s privilege of calling their teams the national side, and therefore from playing at international level.
Dale Steyn’s omission from the Titans’ squad for their first-class match against the Knights on Thursday also flew under the radar.
That means Steyn, who has been out with a heel injury since January, is unlikely to play any cricket before the fourth test at the Wanderers on March 30.
And therefore that he won’t be considered for what could be the series decider.
Hang on, you might say. Temba Bavuma hasn’t played, barring a club game, since January because of a hand injury and yet he is being considered to replace Theunis de Bruyn at Newlands.
Fair point, except that Bavuma has now regained his fitness and, unlike Steyn, has been part of South Africa’s squad.
Then there’s Morne Morkel, who needs three more wickets to became the fifth South African to claim 300 in tests.
But Morkel is set to retire after the series, and he was left out for the second test in Port Elizabeth — where Lungi Ngidi took five wickets to easily earn another crack at Newlands.
Morkel might have to depend on the state of Ngidi’s toe — Du Plessis said on Wednesday that Ngidi had a “niggle” — to get a game.