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Ken Borland

CSA & anti-corruption unit have been methodical & efficient 0

Posted on December 26, 2016 by Ken


Cricket South Africa and the chairman of their anti-corruption unit, former Judge President Bernard Ngoepe, need to be congratulated for the methodical and efficient manner in which they have dealt with the attempts to fix matches during last season’s T20 competition, resulting this week in Alviro Petersen joining ringleader Gulam Bodi and Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Thami Tsolekile as players who have received bans.

Petersen accepted a ban of two years this week and his was the most complex of the cases, the former Proteas batsman being both whistleblower and conspirator, both helpful and obstructive to the investigators.

That half-a-dozen players have now successfully been prosecuted – with just one more high-profile name believed to be on the radar – points to the systematic, detailed work of Ngoepe’s anti-corruption unit. There had been pressure on them early on in the investigations to speed up the process and some of the guilty were also politically-sensitive figures, but they ensured they followed due process every step of the way, even if it meant there was no news for a baying public for periods of time.

The acquittal of former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns on matchfixing charges last November really upped the ante in terms of the evidence required by cricket administrators looking to pursue successful prosecutions of those involved in corruption and CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Ngoepe and his staff have handled the latest South African case with the delicacy and precision of a surgeon.

While Petersen claims he raised the alarm about the nefarious activities Bodi was putting into play, the investigators always had questions about the 36-year-old’s continued involvement in the scheme. Did he pull out because he wasn’t going to get enough money out of the scam?

Petersen was implicated by the evidence of his co-accused as well as his actions in destroying key evidence, believed to be his cellphone records, and has basically been found guilty of that and of not immediately reporting the suspicious activities. Perhaps by trying to be the hero and bypassing the rules which all cricketers should know, he has probably ended his professional career.

It is fair to say Petersen is not well-liked by most of his team-mates, I have heard him referred to as “Lord Voldemort”, and, probably due to a really tough upbringing in the Port Elizabeth township of Gelvandale, he is a bristly, difficult character, always on the defensive.

Coming from a really poor background, perhaps the drive to make “easy” money was too strong; or perhaps his desire to be the hero and singlehandedly destroy Bodi’s matchfixing ring turned into hubris.

Perhaps he is guilty of merely showing poor judgement, something all of us suffer from at times, but he has paid a terrible price in his name being tarnished and losing two of his twilight years as a player, particularly in English county cricket, where he has been a prolific and highly-valued run-scorer for Lancashire.

But that’s the penalty under a system that rightly operates under a zero tolerance principle and no professional cricketer can claim that they are uneducated about the anti-corruption measures.

Petersen’s punishment is par for the course for what he did and thankfully he has accepted it without the need for protracted hearings and appeals. This frees up the anti-corruption unit to now zoom in on a former international pace bowler with especially strong political connections.

Perhaps they have left the toughest case to last.

Petersen giving other kids the chance to repeat his unlikely story 0

Posted on December 29, 2014 by Ken

A young boy raised by a single mother in an impoverished Port Elizabeth community beset by drug and alcohol abuse is an unlikely candidate to become an opening batsman with five centuries for the world’s number one Test side, but that’s the story of Alviro Petersen.

And the 33-year-old is making sure that other young kids in Gelvandale now have the opportunity to enjoy the same success story through the Alviro Petersen Foundation, which celebrated its first birthday at a fundraising dinner at Randpark Golf Club this week.

It was an elite gathering of three excellent Test opening batsmen in Petersen, Barry Richards and Chris Gayle.

The West Indian has always shown an acute appreciation for the fact that his job as a sportsman is to entertain and he certainly did that in his own inimitable Caribbean style.

But beyond the often raucous humour lay the serious business of changing lives, which the Foundation is certainly already doing.

Their efforts have so far focused on four schools in the northern suburbs of Port Elizabeth – Fontein Primary School, Otto du Plessis and Gelvandale high schools and St Thomas School. Apart from donating cricket kit, the Foundation have also made arrangements for two-dozen children to have their school fees paid and they have contracted Second Chance to deliver substance abuse and life skills programmes.

Petersen himself spoke with great meaning and passion to the couple of hundred supporters and friends of his foundation at the dinner.

“I was a young boy growing up in a poor community, raised by a single mother after my parents split when I was two. It was a community rife with drugs, alcohol and gangsterism and it was never going to be likely that I was going to get to where I am today,” he said.

“But South Africa is a country of the unlikely and when I was eight I said I wanted to play for South Africa. When I was 18, I hopped on a bus for a 20-hour trip to Pretoria, where I had a small contract with a club,” Petersen recalled of his humble beginnings.

“It’s been one year since our launch and we’ve been very busy. We’ve done so much already, but there’s so much more to do. You can find potential in every person and we just want to make sure kids get an adequate education and it’s safe for them to play. Women and children must be safe from abuse and we’re going to focus on that in 2015.

“There are kids who drop out of school because of circumstances beyond their control and we hope we can make their dreams come true as well,” Petersen said.

Perhaps the pick of the stories told, however, was of Ashton Frodsham, a Grade 7 pupil at Beaulieu Prep School, who raised R15 000 in two weeks for KES lightning strike victim Mpheto Bidili and then donated R10 000 to the Alviro Petersen Foundation to buy cricket kit, having asked for donations rather than presents for his 13th birthday.

It is rare that someone who is still active at international level – and is surely also focused on dealing with the pressure to keep his place – is already giving back to such an extent. Having survived all the early blows that life dished up to him, it is a further mark of Petersen’s character.

For cricketing wisdom, the dinner had Richards, who in his day was up there with Gayle when it came to destroying bowling attacks. The former opening batsman turned commentator said he was puzzled by AB de Villiers not batting higher up the order for South Africa and was concerned about the Proteas’ suspect death bowling.





Review of 2nd test Q&A 0

Posted on August 07, 2012 by Ken

Lesley asked:
Is Faf du plessis a possible replacement for Alviro Pietersen if he fail to recover for the third/final test?
Ken answered:
Yes – Rudolph would open and Faf could slot in at seven, Duminy up to 6
Morake Mojake asked:
What is the extent of Kallis and Petersoen”s injuries and will they be ready in time for the final test?
Ken answered:
Kallis had a lower back spasm and should be fine – he was bowling on the last day of the Test.
Petersen’s hamstring should take about a week to recover, so he should also be fine for the final Test starting on August 16.
Smanga asked:

Hi Ken,

Overall I think SA performed well and also think we very capable of taking 20wkt and scoring big runs, but with the injuries to some guys do you think we got a chance in the last test to finally be named the no#1 test team in the world??

Ken answered:
Absolutely. The injuries should have cleared up by the final test and I would expect us to bat even better – we had a few lapses at Headingley. On a generally better batting pitch at Lord’s, England are under huge pressure!
Lesley asked:
What”s are your intake about the balance of thr two teams going to the third test?
Ken answered:
Well England got their selection totally wrong in Leeds by not playing Swann. He’ll return at Lord’s, probably in place of Taylor, which means Broad will have to bat 7.
I would still like SA to play a specialist wicketkeeper – Tsolekile – but I guess the balance of the team is good at the moment with Duminy scoring runs. But I’ll be upset if AB doesn’t do more than just score pretty 40s!
Jeandre asked:
Hey guys are there any injury updates on our players? smith, petersen ans kallis did bat so i take it they will be fine or can we see a guy like faf makes his debut at lords?
Ken answered:
Everyone should be fit for Lord’s and I imagine they’ll choose the same XI.
Damien S asked:
Historically we have been very strong at Lord”s. However, this has always been the first test of our previous series. Will it make any difference that we are playing the final test here?
I am of the opinion that we are confident at this ground and can dominate.
Your thoughts…
Ken answered:
Dead right, we have generally done very well at Lord’s and there is the feeling that the venue inspires visiting teams. That’s partly why England didn’t want to play the first test there, but the Oval backfired on them quite spectacularly as well!
Mark asked:
Should Jacques Rudolph not be the first Choice opener with Peterson and have Smith at a later stage on 5?
Ken answered:
Excuse me?! What was wrong with the century Graeme scored opening the batting in the first test and the two 52s he scored at Headingley? SMH
SHAUN asked:

Hi Kenhonestly id firstly like to say that if the rain did not come…we(SA) would have lost, having declared with nine down, i dont think we would of made significantly more than we gave them to chase. That being said around 20 overs were lost due to rain… i am sure England wouyld have batted differently and indeed won the second test, do you agree? also what is your opinion on Tahir? should he play the last test based on the fact that he can only trouble lower order batsmen?

Ken answered:
Hi Shaun
Well it’s difficult to say because the rain also affected the way we batted. We had to deal with constant interruptions and the batsmen playing themselves back in again. Plus we batted with a certain amount of freedom in order to declare with only about 40 overs left in the day – more of a psychological statement than anything. And at 130 for four, England only held a slight advantage.
I think Tahir should play the last test because he’s our best spinner. We’ve had problems with the lower-order before – and England’s is strong with Broad, Bresnan & Swann – so it’s great to have someone who can wrap that up quickly. At the Oval, in conducive conditions, he did trouble the top-order as well.
ian asked:
Hi Ken
With Tahir not really doing the buisness,being quite expensive and still bowling too many bad balls,do you think it would be an option to make Duminy our spinner and bring in another player like faf Du Plessis who bats well and can bowl as well if needed.I know Tahir got some wickets but he basically wrapped up the tail and even part timer Pieterson of england was giving it a good rip.
Ken answered:
Test cricket requires specialists and I would be dead against having part-timers like JP and Faf as our spinners. It’s bad enough not having a specialist wicketkeeper! Wrapping up the tail – England have a very short one – is still an important job and we’ve struggled to do that in the past. Pieterson may have claimed three wickets, but he also conceded 52 runs in 9 overs.
Jeandre asked:
guys who would you say got the most out of this test. If our guys are not injured i would say proteas has the uper hand. we are 1-0 up , England knew had they lost one more wicket they might have been in yrouble too loose the test. i am a bit worried about tahir far too many no balls but he did manage to mop up the tail do you guys think he can only do that or does he have it in him to bowl out a KP OR COOK because they didnt have to much problem facing him. vernon great player but he did strugle bowling too left handers on a pitch that everyone said would suit his bowling, seeing cook and strauss are left handers would it not make more sense to start with steyn and morkel?
Ken answered:
South Africa definitely got the most out of the test because they are still 1-0 up going into the decider. England are now under major pressure! Tahir’s no-balls – in fact the number of extras conceded as a whole – are a concern and I believe the attack needs to tighten up to get back to the levels of the Oval. Tahir’s strength is bowling to the lower-order, but if conditions are suitable, he can trouble the top-order, especially left-handers like Cook. Pietersen took him on and played an exceptional innings.
I agree, I would like to see a change maybe in our bowling line-up, with Steyn taking the new ball at least once at Lord’s. I know Vernon is at his best when the seam is still standing up, but Dale is number one in the world!
Rex asked:

Hi Ken,With AB De Villiers now tasked with the keeping duties for what is likely to be both tests and ODI”s, do you think that this would affect the potential impact he could make by batting lower down the order, and his batting in general?

Ken answered:
Hi Rex
Absolutely. AB de Villiers wants to bat 4 and be the number one batsman in the world. And he can do it, so why on earth do we want to shove him down the order and make him an all-rounder?
I’m sure he’ll be disappointed if he does not make a match-winning century at Lord’s – that’s what he’s there for.
Luvolwethu asked:
It”s encouraging to see the Proteas attacking but now will they employ the same tactics should the same situation arise or will they be content with holding out for a draw considering that they have potential injuries to key members of the squad?
Ken answered:
I think everyone will be fit for Lord’s and I’m sure they won’t be playing for a draw. But at Leed’s there was a risk-reward scenario in that South Africa had a chance of clinching the series win there and then. Lord’s will be different because a draw will give them the series, but I’m sure we will still play positive cricket.
Alex asked:
With AB moving down the order, and being given the gloves, would it not lessen the impact he could have as a batsmen? I say give ol” Daryn Smit, who is very solid with the bat and is a fine glovesman, a chance!
Ken answered:
I agree, why convert one of the world’s best batsmen into a bit-part player at 7? Smit is excellent with the gloves and he’s improved tremendously with the bat, so he will definitely be in the long-term picture.
malcolm sandt asked:
i am bit concerned if kallis wont be fit for the next test.i will pick albie morkel as he will cover the bowling side and he is a more than usefull batter coming in at 7 and just move the other batters up one spot with rudolph at 4 , ab at 5 and duminy at 6 or do we bring in thami as wicket keeper and go with 3 quicks and jp an tahir to cover the spin bowling. i would personally bring in morkel if fit.what do think which way will they go if kallis not fit.
Ken answered:
I think it depends on conditions and, being 1-0 up, you’d probably value Kallis’s runs more than his wickets. If it’s typically English conditions, then Albie would probably be the logical replacement, as you say at 7. But if it’s pretty dry, you could choose Faf du Plessis, which would make the batting very strong, leaving you with 3 frontline seamers in Steyn, Morne Morkel & Philander, Tahir and two part-time spinners in Duminy & Faf.
GIFT asked:
Ken answered:
A draw in the final test means South Africa win the series 1-0.
ADF asked:
Hi Ken
Having not followed the starts of most well known great spinners, do spinner sometimes start off ordinary and hone their skills to become great on the field ?
Basically its just a question regarding Tahir.
He is by no means useless with the ball but also not in the same bracket as Anil Kumble , Warne etc.
Could he become a great worthy to be mentioned among the greats , if given enough time if you look at the start of carriers of great spinners ?
Ken answered:
Spin-bowling is an art and, traditionally, the exponents get better with age. Popular opinion is that spinners are in their prime after they turn 30. Tahir, of course, is already 33, so a lengthy career is probably beyond him. But he is getting better and better as he adapts to test intensity and is the best test spinner we have at the moment. He works hard on his fitness, so he could play for five more years and could be really good!
Grant asked:
After another fascinating Test, the questions have been asked why only a three test series. In recent times, SA has been party to some thrilling finales to Test matches, and we are (I firmly believe) about to be no.1 in Test cricket. Do you think a no. 1 ranking would see us secure longer series against the other sides? What about this farcical T20 on Boxing Day? What are CSA doing these days apart from cashing cheques?
Ken answered:
Unfortunately, I don’t think the number one ranking will change much. We’ve played Australia and India before with the top spot up for grabs, and this series too, and still the administrators only find space for three tests. The length of this series was decided by the England Cricket Board and CSA do have a point when they say the public needs to prove their love of test cricket by actually going to the games! Boxing Day attendances have not been great in recent years …
lonwabo asked:
hi Ken would the injuries that the S.A team have in the moment effect them in the match at lords
Ken answered:
Hi Lonwabo
I don’t think so – Kallis bowled on the final day, Smith had a lengthy bat and Petersen’s hamstring should be fine in a week.
Randall asked:
Why did Tahir Bowl so little? Why is the english commentators making out as if SA had to win, isn”t England no1 currently?
Ken answered:
I don’t think Tahir was under-bowled, he bowled 23.4 overs in the first innings, Pietersen at one stage hit him out of the attack, while an attacking leg-spinner is not really going to be the bowler you turn to during a runs-chase.
The pressure is now squarely on England if they want to retain that number one ranking!
Siyabonga asked:
Philander seems to have lost his form a bit. He bowled short and wide. This is different from how he got his 50 wickets
Ken answered:
None of our bowlers were at their best in Leeds and I think when someone as aggressive as Pietersen is coming at you, you will tend to pull your length back a bit. I don’t think Philander was too bad, he beat the bat a lot, but he will hope to bowl better at Lord’s.
james asked:
Are SA the world best team or are England holding back
Ken answered:
Yes, I believe so, and no! England certainly aren’t holding back, they’re fighting for their lives! They were much-improved at Headingley and SA will have to play very well to earn that number one ranking.
Walter ka Mhlambuluko asked:
Hi Ken, which players do you think can take places of Kallis and Petersen if they are not to take part in the final Test due to injuries that they have currently.
Ken answered:
Hi Walter
Well I’m confident they’ll both be fit. But if not, Rudolph can open the batting again with Faf du Plessis coming in down the order. Albie Morkel would probably be the most suitable replacement for Kallis, although Faf could also come into contention there.
Or Tsolekile could come in to allow De Villiers to concentrate on his batting.
Garreth asked:
Will the sage with KP and the ECB benefit the proteas ?
Ken answered:
Well it certainly won’t help England, so yes!
Jackson asked:
The pitch at Headingley was rather tame and provided the Proteas the opportunity to play within their comfort zone. Will England take a risk in the 3rd test to prepare a wicket that will guarantee a result?
Ken answered:
I don’t think the Headingley pitch was that tame – some outstanding batting by Petersen & Pietersen ensured both sides got over 400 and then the rain made it difficult to get a result. England obviously need a pitch that will help them take 20 wickets, but whether that’s a turning track or a seaming one remains to be seen. Whatever the pitch, South Africa’s attack just looks better.
JAN asked:
Haloo ken, what do you think should be south africas approached of the final test knowing that they are ahead in the series?. and how do you think they can control the game(i.e batting or fielding first?).
Ken answered:
Hi Jan
Well I think we have to stay positive and still play to win, otherwise you hand the momentum to England and get yourself in trouble. Bat first, bat big and control the game with the sheer weight of runs on the scoreboard!
Martin Engelke asked:
I believe that, should Peterson be unavailable, Tsolekile should play instead of yet another batsman( at 7, of course). Duminy showed a specialist batsman can still only last 1 ball and runs are”nt guaranteed. Just 1 reason.
Also,I feel in a fully fit squad, that Rudolph should move up to 3, everybody else down 1. Kallis is either a natural 3 or 5 and 3 is out as the short ball is getting to him. He is an awesome anchor, so less usefull as a 4 or 6. AB, again, looks most at home when showing attacking intent. He is possibly the most capable batsman in the world of getting a run-a-ball 200 from 6 batting with the tail.
What do you think of this?
Ken answered:
There really isn’t much difference between batting 3 or 4! or 5 and 6 for that matter! So I’m happy with the batting order as is, although I agree, Tsolekile should be at 7 in the long-term … so that AB can bat 5 and score those 200s!
Darrel Conolly asked:
Very little wrong with the Protea set-up at the moment. To score over 400 when put in to bat under such conditions and against one of the best pace attacks in the world is no mean achievement.
Two questions: why is Ashwell Prince no longer in the mix; and why does Smith persist in bowling Dale Steyn at first change?
Ken answered:
Ashwell Prince was dropped after the loss to Sri Lanka in Durban – he was out reverse-sweeping in the first innings and then turned his back on Hashim Amla in the 2nd as he was run out for 51. Would you choose Prince ahead of Rudolph, Duminy or Du Plessis?
The thinking with the bowling order is that Philander is at his best when the seam is still standing up and Morne Morkel has a great record against left-handers and Andrew Strauss in particular. Dale’s record against left-handers isn’t as good …
yazeed asked:
I am really frustrated with Imraan Tahir”s inability to pick-up top order wickets. What else can he try in order to get top order wickets?
Ken answered:
He just needs to be patient and build more pressure. He does trouble them, but too often there’s a release ball.
Wynand asked:
Do you think our batsmen giving away their wickets relatively cheaply is a product of the comprehensive win in the first test or the constant rain interuptions?Do you think Faf is ready to step up to test cricket?
Ken answered:
I think the rain did play a role in the second innings, but there was a definite hint of some complacency in the batting. Most of the dismissals were soft, especially in the first innings. It’s still a frustration that we are not consistently ruthless with the bat – follow up a great performance with another one.
I think Faf will do well whenever he gets his test chance.
Somila Spondo asked:
Do you think south africa has a chance of winning the test series with the couple of injuries that have happened, and the english team look to be perfoming better and better, even with the attention being focussed on KP?
Ken answered:
Absolutely. None of the injuries are serious and England now have to chase the game in the final test, which can lead to mistakes. They were much better in Leeds, but still couldn’t win. I think the KP saga is one they can really do without.
Ismail asked:
Hi Ken. The extras that SA have conceded thus far, especially the no balls & wides, is very concerning. By doing this we had basically given away free runs & the chance to declare earlier & thus attack England for a win. In comparison England”s bowlers wer very effecient & miserly with regards to extras conceded. Is AB playing wk part of this problem? is there an underlying overconfidence from our bowlers? added to that Tahir has not been effective enough! I fear that this upcoming third test will be heavily influenced by this ”free runs” scenario. What is/are the solution(s)? … our much vaunted bowling attack is giving away runs ”free”! Thanx for your time.
Ken answered:
Hi Ismail
I agree! We weren’t tight enough in the field and the wicketkeeper sets the tone in the field. AB is not as verbal as most wicketkeepers and perhaps the intensity suffers as a result. But the bowlers were also not quite at their best and need to get back to the levels of pressure they exerted at the Oval. I think Tahir is fulfilling his role of wrapping up the lower-order.
Hi Ken
I expect swann coming back in the Eng side. Do you think he will? and will he be dangerous against our poor run of form against spinners over the years?
Ken answered:
Hi Neville
Yes, I’m sure Swann will return, but he has an elbow niggle and doesn’t seem to be the same bowler as when we last played England.
He is a dangerous bowler though, especially against our left-handers.
But I don’t think we’re poor against spin – we wouldn’t have done well on the sub-continent if we were – and I believe we play spin better than England!
Tumelo asked:
Hi Ken,I was happy our batsman got a chance but i”m a bit worried about AB with his indecisiveness at the crease and with Roudolf and the offspin.
Will Alviro and Kallis be fit for the game and both are not who will be the guys coming in
Ken answered:
Hi Tumelo
I’m not sure AB was that indecisive scoring 44 off 45 in the second innings! But I’m sure 2x40s will not satisfy him and he’ll be looking for a big hundred in the last test.
Hopefully Rudolph’s dismissals were just an aberration – he did score 19 and 69 before that … I’m sure he’ll be sorting out any hitches against off-spin in the nets before Lord’s …
I’m sure Kallis and Petersen will both be fit, but potential replacements have been discussed above.
Bongani asked:
Great to see NEW Greame Smith since introduction of Gary Kirsten to the National set-up, the last 4 series were great to watch as I see him try lot different elements to the previous predictable GS.
With injury to Alviro I would love to see Faf been given a chance as he bring another wicket taking option with him on field and his batting has mature like great wine, what your thoughts?
Playing XI for lords
Ken answered:
Petersen should be fit, but if not, yes, Faf should play and I believe he’s ready to do well at test level too.
Christian asked:

Hi Ken,Just like in the first test, South Africa conceded a large number of extras compared to England. Surely this must be a matter of concern to Allan Donald and the rest of th coaching staff?

Ken answered:
Hi Christian
Yes, it should be a concern and, as I mentioned above, I can’t help wondering if some of the looseness is down to not having a specialist wicketkeeper?
Jody Abrahams asked:

Hi Ken,My question is about Imran Tahir it”s great watching him bowl to tail enders but extremely frustrating watching him against the England top order because he does not seem to trouble them.

Is it harsh to criticise him now or will he learn because I think about 70% to 80% of his wickets are tail enders?



Ken answered:
Hi Jody
I think he has troubled the top-order sometimes and I think we should be patient. At least he’s doing the important job of knocking over the lower-order, which we have struggled with in the past!
Philani Nzuza asked:
Hi Ken,two questions,I think this England team can”t win against us considering KP saga and our team form allround,can we choke on the last test as usual?second one,is Faf coming in for Peterson in order to not take any chances with AP?
Ken answered:
Hi Philani
The pressure’s firmly on England going into the final test, so I don’t think choking comes into it! Petersen still has a week to get fit, so I’m sure he’ll be available for Lord’s.
Brinley asked:
Hi Ken, I think the guys have the measure of England. My question is, did the batsman not make Broad look good as they were going for runs?
Ken answered:
Hi Brinley
Yes, I think there was a suggestion of that. But we cannot allow the England bowlers to get their confidence back by being complacent. The batsmen must be ruthless!
Realeboha asked:
Hi Ken
Dont you think it”s time for King Kallis to focus only on batting. It seems like the load of being an all-rounder is too much for him lately especially on his health.thanks for your time
Ken answered:
Hi Realeboha
I think Kallis is being managed carefully and he’s only bowled 42 overs in the two tests, roughly half the workload of the other frontline bowlers. He’s also made 3 crucial breakthroughs and is great at building pressure, he’s been our most economical bowler. Having him as a bowler is one of the greatest strengths of the team!
He’ll also be resting for the ODI series afterwards …
Greg asked:
I have really been impressed with the way SA have played on this tour. The team seems stronger without Boucher, sorry Mark, but some of the umpiring descions made were appauling. I umpire at junior and club level. With the technologie available how can you get it wrong? It”s the first time that I have seen the benefit of the doubt going against the batsmen. Jacques Rudolph stumping and Graeme Smith”s batpad.Ridiculous! Why not give 5 reviews each coz poor old AB also got a shocker. I think umpires like Steve Davis really need to be looked at. Because if 95 percent of us Umps had DRS and Hotspot and 3rd umpires we would make errors 0.1% of the time thanks.
Ken answered:
I would say the umpiring was outstanding in the first test, Davis in particular. 2nd test wasn’t as good, but there’s no such thing as “benefit of the doubt” in the rule book! That’s just a convention.
On close scrutiny, Rudolph was out, nothing behind the line, and Smith seemed to get a scratch off the bottom of the bat – you can even see him mouth the words “the bottom of my bat” to Amla when they’re chatting about the review. There were no more reviews left for AB’s decision and that wasn’t a good one.
percy asked:
Will the Proteas still go 2 No 1 spot if they win the series 2-0…?
Ken answered:
Yes, if we win the series, even 1-0, we’ll be number 1.
Kyle asked:

Hi Ken.2 questions.

No.1 – If the injuries of King Kallis and Alviro turn out to be serious, which will cause them to miss the next test, who will replace them?

No.2 – In my opinion Faf has been in great form and showed his ability to play in all formats. whats your thoughts on him being selected in all 3 formats of the game ?

Ken answered:
Hi Kyle
I’ve covered both questions above.
Shonisani Gabara asked:
Why don”t we groom Makhaya Ntini as one of the coaches?.
Ken answered:
I’m not sure Makhaya wants to go into high-level coaching, but maybe somebody should ask him?
Grant Callaway asked:
Hi Ken,
As much as we all like to hate Kevin Peterson, and as many reasons as he gives for that to be justified, I truly believe that he has single-handedly transformed English cricket for the better.Do you think that England would ever have been ranked world no.1”s without the injection of aggression from KP? To me, it seemed that Enland were always too conservative to ever dominate.Also, although SA were in the driving seat for Test#2, it seemed that the English bowlers did a lot more than ours (surprising since the English had a massive workload in the 1st test). Do you think our bowlers will prove more the threat they SHOULD be in the last test, or do you think our chances hinge more on our batsmen?Thanks.
Ken answered:
Hi Grant
Pietersen is a phenomenal batsman no doubt, not many could have played the sort of innings he did. He didn’t just rescue England from trouble, he also put them in position to win the test – that’s the aggressive intent you’re talking about.
Although our bowlers weren’t on top of their games, it still took a special innings to get the better of them, and I think I’m a little more disappointed in our batting.
In both innings we failed to capitalise on great starts – the openers put on 120 in both innings! Especially in the first innings, there were some soft dismissals and we really should have scored more than 500 to really shut England out.
At Lord’s, we’re 1-0 up, so it will be all about our batsmen putting us in a position where we cannot lose.
Peter asked:
Even though after the declaration the odds were heavily on a draw, the batting after lunch(with the help of a couple of poor umpiring decisions} was not great.99% impossible to dismiss a side in 40 overs.Far more possible if highly unlikely to get the runs. I wouldnt have given England a sniff. Your comments please, Ken
Ken answered:
I think the declaration was more a psychological ploy than anything else. It was saying, “we’re not in trouble here, we have enough runs, we believe we can skittle you out.” Otherwise England might have thought we were trying to hang on for a draw, it put the shoe on the other foot!
Kirk Lawler asked:
Would a specialist keeper not be a better option, instead of AB ?
Ken answered:
Thabani majaqaba asked:
If south Africa win third test,will they be number one in test cricket in the world.
Ken answered:
Yes, and even if they draw. We just need to win the series to be number one.
Ndabenhle Ngcobo asked:
Beating England won”t prove we the number 1 side in the world. I bealive going to the sub continent and winning there unlike would be the proof. Care to comment?
Ken answered:
Been there, done that. We’re the only team that has won consistently on the sub-continent, we haven’t lost a series there since 2006.
Gibbie asked:

Hi,How difficult is it for a spinner not to bowl no-balls? Surely its a matter of changing your run-up/walk-up?

Ken answered:
Hi Gibbie
It is unusual for a spinner to bowl no-balls because their run-ups are shorter – less can go wrong! Can be fixed in the nets.
Dilo asked:
Hi Ken.I personally think that the 2nd test was SA vs Kevin Petersen. SA completly dominated the test, but yet, the English commentators refused to say that SA were dominating and in a better position..They held on to hope that England could still win right until maybe 13 over to go yesterday..It was ridiculous and terrible to listen to..No praise for SA and how well we had played..Whats your opinion regarding those commentators?Even Pollock got carried away and he spoke about England 90% of the time.If SA were not chasing runs, Broad would not have goten 5 wickets, but the commentators never mentioned that SA was chasing runs and thus loosing wickets..Only Nichael Holding mentioned it..Your comments?
Ken answered:
Hi Dilo
I wasn’t phased about the commentary and I thought the test was pretty even.
Riaan asked:
Hi Ken, from a snowy Jhb hope you are well.
Is the perception mutual between all of us that Hash is an excellent batsman, but a poor runner between the wickets. I think the stats might indicate that he is involved in WAY too many run-outs?
Ken answered:
hi Riaan
The perception is there – but stats show he’s been run out just four times in 106 innings. Not too bad.
Pregasen asked:
Hi Ken.I read today that Kevin Petersen is undecided if he wants to play for England in tests after test 3 against SA.Is this true or is it the English media sensationalizing things again? He did retire from ODI, but then wanted to return, and now he is undecided regards test cricket..I think that the English selectors should leav him out of the team as he seems to want attention all the time..No play, not Bradman, not Petersen can be above the game and do as they please..I think he should be taught a lesson.He did play irresponsibly in the 1st test when England needed to bat time to save the gave, but here he scores a magnificent 149 and it seems his ego is back as well..What happens next time he needs to bat 300 balls for 70 runs to save a test for England?I dont think he could do it, so i say, sack him..your taughts?
Ken answered:
Hi Pregasen
He made the comments on the BBC, so they’re true.
It’s very sad that straight after winning back public opinion with his marvellous innings, he lets his ego get in the way again!
KP needs test cricket more than the game needs him!
Andrew Robinson asked:
What allows players like K. Petersen, Kallis and Duminy make beakthroughs where the regular bowlers have failed?
Ken answered:
The batsmen may relax a bit, lose concentration. But Kallis has 279 test wickets – he’s a regular and highly skilful!
chumani kwanini asked:
hi lets say sa lost the final test would it be a bad result if it finish with a drawn series
Ken answered:
Hi Chumani
Yes it would be very disappointing after we’ve dominated the series.
Shaun Reznik asked:

Hi KenI just dont understand why there is such a delay in between test matches? Surely 5 day sis enough and not 10 days?

Swann is playing a county crickey game today. It also adds to the length of the tour..

My main gripe is 3 tests instead of 4/5. The money conscious killers of cricket still could have gotten their limited over games, and more tests…

Ken answered:
Hi Shaun
With the injury niggles we have, I’m sure the rest will do our players the world of good!
Kris asked:
Do you think England will take any positives from the second test and how do you think they (England) are psychologically?
Ken answered:
They will believe they put themselves in a position to win and they claimed 19 wickets, which was a big improvement. Pressure is still on them though, which they haven’t been under at home for several years, so it will be interesting to see how they respond.
Adam Sack asked:

Hi KenAny news on how Boucher is going? Has he recovered well?

And your thoughts on the wicket keeper pecking order? Are you a supporter of Thami?

Ken answered:
Hi Adam
Boucher still needs more surgery, but so far his recovery has been better than expected. We’ll know more tomorrow.
Yes, I think Tsolekile should play.
phillip phiri asked:
dont u think faf needs some game time, not that duminy z not gud but i jus think faf du needs some game time
Ken answered:
Why does Faf need game time? It’s the last test of a series we have to win!
Johnny Kay asked:

Hi Ken,Are you happy with our bowling attack or do you think we need to bring in someone to help us dismiss teams. We keep hearing about how good our attack is but we don’t seem able to really dominate like we should. Would it be possible to fit Albie Morkel in the team? He could potentially help both our batting and bowling.

Ken answered:
I’m very happy with the composition of our attack! They claimed 20 wickets at the Oval when the opposition took just 2 and took 14 wickets in 160 overs at Headingley.
Daniel Linde asked:

HiIts been great to see that the SA A side has had a lot of fixtures over the lats few months. This is new for SA Cricket. Will their fixture list continue?

I feel its brilliant for their development to be in a national set-up and with other contenders. And touring is always good for development.

Ken answered:
hi Daniel
The SA A program is being expanded which is a good thing.
Mpumelelo asked:
in an effort to make a short series like this one interesting (or test cricket at large), don”t you think an optional 6th day should be added if a result is possible especially if we lost play due to lights, bad weather, etc?
Ken answered:
They’re barely managing to fit 5 days into the schedule these days, so 6 is not gonna happen!
Riaan asked:
What is your take on the standard of umpiring thus far in the series…Steve Davis has got quite a few wrong during the series and then also the shocker from Asad Rauf yesterday. With the final test the world number one decider should we be concerned over the standard of umpiring?
Ken answered:
No, umpiring has generally been very good – see answer above.
Reece Davies asked:
Are you gay?
Ken answered:
Only when it’s snowing in Johannesburg or when South Africa claim the number one ranking!
How about you?
Andre asked:
If we draw the next game would we be world no 1. Thanks
Ken answered:
Hi Andre
Yes, series win gives us number one.
Myles Ritchie asked:
Can KP theoretically ever play for SA? Does he have dual citizenship?
Ken answered:
No – the rules have changed, once you’ve played for one country at international level, that’s it.
Sarooben Chetty asked:
Will Hansie ever come back to captain?
Ken answered:
Gee, I hope not. Who else would be emerging from the grave … ?
Mark Booysen asked:
what did you make of Morkel”s and Philander”s opening spell in England”s first Innings?
Ken answered:
Not great. Lacked rhythym and intensity, and consistency.
Mlilo asked:
I think Philander can do better I am not sure whether he is now comfortable or what but they need to have a talk with him. What”s your take?
Ken answered:
I’m pretty sure complacency is not an issue.
Grant Callaway asked:
Hi Ken,
Can you offer any explanation for Tahir”s numerous no-balls?I used to consider myself a quick bowler, and had the long run-up to suit. For about 2 years, I used to land about 20cm SHORT of the crease, and just couldnt fix my run-up. When you change the distance, your body “auto-corrects” in the stride, taking you back to where you were before – so I understand that part….but a spinner literally only takes 3 or 4 steps. I find it very hard to believe that his no-balls are anything more than him just wanting to get as close as possible?Surely he needs to curb this now, as one of those no balls could cost us a wicket (and a match) soon! And there”s nothing worse than something like that happening when it can be easily avoided?
Ken answered:
Hi Grant
Quite right – for the spinner he should be able to fix it with work in the nets.
Alan asked:
The game changing or saving innings was that of KP.
Do you think the Proteas and in particular Greame Smith got his tactics right when bowling to KP. All that short stuff on a wicket that clearly required the ball to be pitched up. Was this not simply Greame Smith”s ego vs that of KP….?
Ken answered:
I doubt the tactics would have been decided solely by Graeme. There would have been input from Gary Kirsten, Allan Donald and the bowlers.
Francois asked:
When england was under pressure having lost 4 wickets last night, Smith did not apply the pressure with aggressive field placings, thus allowing the game to peter out.
Your opinion?
Ken answered:
Well he couldn’t be too aggressive because there was an outside chance of England chasing down the runs.
Len Swart asked:
Hi Ken. I think SA played well. The weather spoiled what would have been an exciting finish to the 2nd test. Am I correct in saying that we have a pretty good record at lords against England? I recall us winning there in 2008. Also who do you think is the favorite to win the ODI series coming up?
Ken answered:
Hi Len
We have a great record at Lord’s – we haven’t lost a test there since 1960 and have 3 of the 4 since isolation, 2008 was a draw!
For the ODI series, England are probably slight favourites. They have an excellent record at home recently and we’re resting Kallis.
wilbur pienaar asked:
if jacques kallis is unavailable for the lords test match, do you think they will replace him with an allrounder, say a ryan mclaren?
Ken answered:
Ryan McLaren is not on tour and Albie Morkel is the reserve all-rounder.
joel asked:
What a breaktaking series its been so far, yesterday was epic! So Ken, its safe to say we”ve had the better of the Pommies in the last two matches, they”ve never been in a clear winning position throughout the series, they”re always chasing the game (Apart from KP”s heriocs)… Is it premature to say we ARE better than England, even if they win the 3rd test? Are we the most complete test side in the world?
Ken answered:
Joel, we only earn the right to call ourselves the best if we beat England and have that number one ranking! We’re a formidable unit, but there’s still room for quite a bit of improvement – more consistent batting, a proper wicketkeeper/batsman, and Tahir developing further.
jacques asked:
Why is it that SA”s bowlers are down on pace. Before the test series Dale wanted toe be the quickest SA bowler, last sesion on the last day of play in the second test after the ball was 20 odd overs old he decided to bowl like everybody knows he can. Shouldn”t tha have happend with the new ball up front?
Ken answered:
Pace has a lot to do with the bowler’s rhythm on the day and also the match situation. Sometimes they are just striving for better control or more swing.
donwan asked:
How serious is kallis injury?
Ken answered:
Not serious – he was bowling on the last day.
Greig asked:
Hi Ken,Thanks for taking the time on the q&a. Keen to get your thoughts on:
1. Huge fan of Vernon P. but do you think he bowled a touch short during the whole 2nd test and if so, why wasnt it corrected. He shouldve been more successful?
2. Ive seen this before when we try and attack Pietersen and he rises to the challenge. Shouldnt we just be sticking to line and length and bore him out instead. He obviously has a point to prove being ex-south african so why play into his hands?
3. If you had to choose, who would it be Faff, JP or Rudolph.
Ken answered:
Hi Greig
Yes Philander did bowl a bit short, but that’s likely to happen when someone like KP is striding down the pitch to attack you!
But yes, Pietersen loves rising to the challenge and he had a point to prove after taking a lot of flak from the Oval thrashing. I tend to favour the bore-him-out approach, I must say, although he did pop a catch to short-leg that wasn’t taken!
Rudolph at the moment …
phillip maritz asked:
Hi Ken,I think Eng will be kicking themselves for leaving out swann..Tahir has been a bit disappointing in his consistancy,Sa should rather play robbie p who can bowl more consistant and he can bat.tahir has not come to the party!
Ken answered:
Tahir has done a great job in wrapping up the England lower-order – Broad averages 5.66 in the series, Bresnan 18.50, Swann 22.00. Their career-averages are 26.75, 36.27 and 21.73 respectively, so he’s kept them very quiet.
Shaylin asked:
Hey Ken,the result wasn”t wat we were looking for bt none the less the boys did well. My question to u is,do u think tahir should be dropped so another pace bowler can enjoy the slope at lords? So they can xploit the english batsman.
Ken answered:
hey Shaylin
I think as England proved in the 2nd test, you generally need a specialist spinner in test cricket.
Karl asked:
Do you think the Keven Pietersen should play for England in the next test or be dropped after what has been released in the press here today.
Ken answered:
I don’t really care to be honest, except to say it’s sad to see such a talent go to waste.
Bart asked:
Do you think the England camp will self destruct with this whole K Peterson saga?
Ken answered:
It won’t help them, but they’ve been dealing with the KP ego for some time, so I doubt they’ll self-destruct.
raygan asked:
South africa need a longterm wickedkeeper and quinton de kock is the perfect guy for me …the 3rd test would”ve been great if we won that game yesterday to test new guys like de kock I think faf should replace peterson if not fit but what position is his best in the batting line up ??
Ken answered:
De Kock is nowhere near ready – has lots of work to do on his wicketkeeping. He doesn’t even keep for the Lions!
Faf should bat middle-order.
rendal asked:
Hi ken all our top batsmen got runs will england prepare a green pitch at lords or a flat track will their take that gamble
Ken answered:
Hi Rendal
England need a result pitch!
Sivuyile asked:
With South Africa not playing a specialist keeper where do you see them starting to play Thami Tsolekile in the squad and a full time basis?
Ken answered:
Hopefully as soon as this series is over!
Akeel asked:
Would you rate kallis batting in the same breath as lara tendulkar and pointing..he”s stats surely say so,so why do international commentators and media disagree with it..
Ken answered:
Absolutely – and I believe most pundits believe this now as well.
Riaan Snyman asked:

Why did the SA bowlers bowl within themselves for most of the the test Match?Dale Steyn and co seemed to just put the ball there and not “bowl” it, why? was this part of the strategy?

Only when the match outcome was certain did they reach some proper speeds?

Ken answered:
The intensity wasn’t quite there, but it would not have been deliberate. Bowlers sometimes just don’t quite have their best rhythm.

Post-Zimbabwe, pre-England SA cricket Q&A 0

Posted on July 03, 2012 by Ken

Maroof Gangat asked:
The Big 3, amla, kallis, de villiers. why is it that it has to be 1 of these 3 batsmen that bail SA out of trouble, im sure the other batsmen have to pull up there socks and come to the party eg. rudolph, du plessis etc.
Ken answered:
I think you’re being a little unfair. Obviously Amla, Kallis & De Villiers are 3 of the best batsmen in the world and they will obviously consistently produce great performances. But the rest of the batting order are consistently chipping in as well – Jacques Rudolph made a crucial century recently in NZ, Du Plessis top-scored in the final in Zimbabwe and has made valuable runs in the middle-order in ODIs. Smith, Petersen, Duminy have all made runs in the last year as well.

Riaan asked:
Hi Ken,
My question is regarding Parnell. I am just struggling to see why we keep investing in him. Understandably he has shown immense talent and therefore his prolonged was justified to an extent, but he has never made the international level his own. He I know he has performed well in the last T20, but the first two? I perceive him as very hot/cold. Your opinions on him being the constant inclusion that he is? Justified? For how long still?
Ken answered:
I think the problem when it comes to Parnell is that the talent is obviously there and the best way to nurture talent is to back it, give it opportunity, hope continuity of selection helps him to settle down. But yes, consistency is his problem. His place will definitely be under serious threat if the likes of Marchant de Lange or Rusty Theron start to produce the goods on a consistent basis.

Armand asked:
Hi Ken,Do u think we have got the right back up players in our squads if some of our star players get injured?? If u look at our bowlers and keeper?? I think we need some wicket taking bowlers and not stock bowlers..
Ken answered:
Hi Armand
Are you talking about the test squad?
In terms of the wicketkeeper, I am disappointed that Tsolekile has not been taken on tour as specialist back-up.
The back-up players are probably the best we have, though … we just need to do more work on them!
“Stock” bowlers are also important though because they dry up an end, build pressure and allow the more attacking bowlers to rotate from the other end.

Bennie asked:
Hi Ken, After our second defeat to Zim, do you think Amla is still the man to take charge should AB be unavailable in the limited overs games?
Ken answered:
Hi Bennie
I don’t think our losses to Zimbabwe were due to bad captaincy, we were beaten so thoroughly that I don’t think any tactics made the difference! But yes, I’m not entirely convinced with Amla as captain … but that being said, he was only standing-in for the T20s because Johan Botha was injured. The problem is, if not Amla, then who? Botha is no longer assured of his place in the limited-overs teams …

Tumelo asked:
Hi Ken,

1)Would Faf be ahead of Kallis in the opening slot after Amla and Levi?
2)If Kallis is not going to open is there a place for him in the middle ahead of Faf as I think the spinning option would be better suited to conditions
3)Who between Faf, Ontong and Ingram do you think will get the nod?
4)Would it be wise to play 3 seamers and Kallis in the sub-continent?

Ken answered:
Hi Tumelo
Nice questions!
I think Kallis is a definite, we saw his immense value in helping KKR to the IPL title. But I believe he must open the batting, probably with Levi. I also firmly believe AB, our best T20 batsman, must bat 3 and be fully utilised. Duminy then at four, I agree with you about Faf as a spin option as well, so I’d put him at five. Because AB will keep, we can have another specialist batsman as a floater – coming in anywhere between 3 & 6 – this could be Ingram or Ontong, Albie Morkel 7, Peterson/Botha 8, three pacemen – Steyn, M. Morkel, Tsotsobe (providing he bowls better than he did in Zim!). That leaves possible space in the squad for Amla as the reserve opener and one other fast bowler. Depending on just how spin-friendly the conditions are, we could play both Peterson & Botha, leaving out one paceman.

Wynand asked:
Do you think there is reason for worry regarding the depht of our squad after the recent tour of Zim?
Ken answered:
It did show that our depth is perhaps not as great as we think it is, but for me it was more apparent just how hard it is to make the step up from domestic to international cricket, especially when conditions are unfamiliar. The up-side is we now have far greater clarity in selection for the ICC World T20.

Dallas Nash asked:
Giving all those youngsters a chance was a nice gesture but so close to the England tour I really think the core squad members should have used the opportunity to get some match/team practice in. They really haven’t done much as a team all year and they’ll need to be on their toes. We want that No. 1 slot!
Ken answered:
I don’t think a T20 series on low, slow pitches would be any preparation at all for a test series in England! They’ll have a couple of warm-up games together in England, plus the core players who weren’t in Zim were working hard back in SA!

Jack asked:
England just played a series of ODIs and test matches vs West Indies and are now playing a 5 ODI series vs Australia. Is our only preparation for the test series going to be a T20 triangular vs Zim and Bangladesh? I”m hoping the players are going to get a lot of game time before the 19th.
Ken answered:
There will be two warm-up matches against Somerset & Kent, giving them 5 days of cricket before the 1st test … At least we’ll be focusing on test disciplines, why England will be involved in tough ODIs …

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