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Ken Borland



CSA need to put their faith in building the base, not quick riches 0

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Ken

 

Two not entirely unconnected happenings in the world of cricket caught my eye this week: The first was an article (http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/1098043.html) on CricInfo about the looming player strike in Australia and how the relationship between their administration and their players has almost entirely broken down; the second was that Cricket Australia’s executive manager of broadcast, digital and commercial, Ben Amarfio, had come to South Africa and briefed local cricket stakeholders on their successes, in particular the Big Bash League.

The irony of the situation is that although the Big Bash League has been an enormous success in terms of crowds and television revenue, the damage it is doing to all other aspects of Australian cricket reminds one of the south Indian proverb that “nothing grows under the shade of the Banyan tree”.

The T20 competition might be going through the roof, but the rest of Australian cricket is not exactly excelling: results have been indifferent and the players are about to go on strike! The temptation to copy what they are doing should be resisted.

The dollar signs are already rolling in the eyes of Cricket South Africa when it comes to the new Global Destination T20 League that will debut on our shores next summer, but the actual economics of the event have been poorly communicated to many of the stakeholders who will hand over control of their stadia and players for the duration of the competition.

The state of the game in this country is currently strong, and CEO Haroon Lorgat was a well-deserved winner of the Leadership in Sport Business award at this week’s Sports Industry Awards, but the danger still exists that the lower levels of the sport, the foundation, will be ignored in favour of the riches that could suddenly become available.

We all know the immense damage done to the reputation of Cricket South Africa following the hosting of the IPL in 2009 and the money-grabbing associated with it, but our administrators seem to have short memories; how else can one explain the presence of disgraced former CEO Gerald Majola as an honoured guest, seated in the front row, at their own awards ceremony last week?

At the same awards dinner, it was noticeable that the prize for the best scorers association, previously included in the professional operations section along with the umpires, had been demoted to the amateur awards given out at the breakfast earlier on the same day. It may seem like a trivial matter – but it was certainly a slight felt by the scorers, who are an integral part of the game, just like umpires. It points to a lingering suspicion that CSA might just be undervaluing their foundations, the domestic base.

It is a fact that the best organisations look after the interests of all their people – their employees and stakeholders – and a prime example of this is the Northerns Cricket Union, who also held their awards luncheon this week.

Their Titans team is the best in the country, winning two trophies last season and narrowly missing out on the third, and that is partly because of the superb administrative structures that support the on-field performance. The Northerns team is also the dominant force in senior provincial competitions.

The administration is happy and productive because every person is treated well and with enormous respect; they are made to feel part of the success of the union and franchise. There is no greater measure of this than the fact that all the grounds staff, dressed in their Sunday best, were invited to the luncheon and the hug and kiss CEO Jacques Faul received from one of the housekeeping staff when she received her certificate.

Faul is an outstanding CEO who makes every one of his staff feel valued, and that is the secret to getting the best out of people, and the strong relationship between him and president John Wright, a true servant of sport, is also vital.

Cricket South Africa need to be warned that there is a danger of prioritising money over people and the overall well-being of the game of which they are trustees; when things are going well is probably the right time for this reminder.

*Altaaf Kazi, CSA’s head of media and communications, has pointed out, however, in response to this column that the scorers were never previously honoured during the live TV broadcast segment of the awards, whereas this year their award presentation from the breakfast was shown live on SuperSport. The reshuffling was due to the pleasing inclusion of three extra awards for women’s cricket.

Ex-national coaches the finished article: Heyneke 0

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Ken

 

Heyneke Meyer returned to Loftus Versfeld on Thursday and bemoaned the irony that former Springbok coaches, who can be considered close to the finished article, are excluded from the local game at a time when South African rugby is in crisis and needs as much experienced help as it can get.

Meyer was at his former stamping ground to launch the Beachcomber World Club 10s to be played in Mauritius next month, but his passion for top-level rugby is still there.

“Ex national coaches learn so much, they’re at their best, and then they get moved sideways. The perception here is that I’m in the rugby wilderness, but I’m getting offers from all over the world. But I want to be in South Africa, I believe I can make a difference, even though I’m currently very happy working for Carinat.

“You look at Eddie Jones, who lost eight-in-a-row with Australia and was fired, but then he helped the Springboks and now with England you can see how much he has learnt. Most South African coaches are just gone, though; Rassie Erasmus and Jake White have been really successful overseas and someone like John Plumtree was not seen as a great coach here, but I always rated him, and now he’s won SuperRugby in New Zealand. So it’s not the lack of coaches that is our problem, it’s the system,” Meyer said.

The coach of the first South African team to win Super Rugby, back in 2007, said local franchises were severely hampered by the overseas exodus, fitness issues and the push to play like New Zealand teams.

“You know we’re in trouble when we want to follow New Zealand, if you do that then you’ll never be the best in the world. There’s an over-fixation to play like the All Blacks, it will take us 10 years to get there and then they’ll be another 10 years ahead! We have to find out what we stand for and play the South African way.

“It’s very concerning all the players going to Japan because they can’t play for 12 months and players need to be uninjured and fresh in order to do proper fitness work. And if you’re tired you can’t execute your skills, you can’t press in defence, or scrum or drive. Teams win because of superior fitness and with guys going overseas it’s very difficult.

“Plus it’s impossible to keep the same side together for five years, you just start building and guys leave by the time they’re 25. We’ve got the right coaches and players but we need a better system to keep the players,” Meyer said.

 

Titans lose by an innings but still top of log 0

Posted on March 05, 2015 by Ken

The Unlimited Titans were hammered by an innings by the Dolphins in the latest round of Sunfoil Series matches, but the log at the bottom of this article is not incorrect, the northern/eastern Gauteng side are indeed top of the standings as the four-day competition enters the new year.

While the Titans succumbed by an innings and 54 runs to the Dolphins at Kingsmead, coach Rob Walter believes he has the material to mount a serious title challenge in the premier domestic competition.

“It was disappointing the way we played in Durban, but specifically the way we played the week before when we thrashed the Knights in Bloemfontein has put us in a good position with two wins in four games. This competition is more about the games you win than the games you lose and the bowlers were outstanding in Bloemfontein, while Farhaan Behardien has certainly been one of the standout batsmen in the competition,” Walter told The Citizen.

The inconsistency of the Titans is what is threatening their title ambitions, however, with the bowlers performing poorly in Durban as they bowled the wrong lengths, and the batting also looking vulnerable at times.

The Titans’ next match, against the Highveld Lions, who are second, just 1.72 points behind them with a game in hand, is shaping up as a crucial encounter. That game only starts on January 15 though, with the Titans having a break as the Lions take on the Cape Cobras and the Warriors host the Dolphins from January 8.

Walter warned that the Dolphins, who have 27.08 points from two matches compared to the Titans’ 46.18 from four, will also be a big factor in the competition.

“That attack of theirs is very good, Kyle Abbott and Ryan McLaren are two international bowlers and their quality shone through against us. Their greater ability to execute their skills, in terms of landing the ball in the right area over and over again, makes them very good bowlers,” Walter said.

The Titans bowlers were nowhere near as accurate, although speedster Marchant de Lange and left-arm swing bowler Rowan Richards are both enjoying good campaigns.

De Lange has taken nine wickets in his last two innings and Walter says he is a much-improved bowler.

“Marchant’s done a helluva lot of work. He’s had patches of success before, but I’ve seen steady growth this season in him as a strike bowler. His pace is a trumpcard and as he goes up through the levels, he’ll have to become more consistent and better at executing his plans because top batsmen on good pitches deal with pace. But his skills have improved,” Walter said.

 

LOG

 

  P W L Tied Drawn Bat Bowl Penalty
The Unlimited Titans 4 2 2 0 0 14.18 12 0 46.18
bizhub Highveld Lions 3 2 1 0 0 12.46 12 0 44.46
Chevrolet Knights 4 2 1 0 1 9.52 13 0 42.52
Sunfoil Dolphins 2 1 0 0 1 11.08 6 0 27.08
Chevrolet Warriors 3 0 2 0 1 7.74 10 0 17.74
Nashua Cape Cobras 2 0 1 0 1 7.66 3 1 9.66

 

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    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm



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