for quality writing

Ken Borland



Titans limit their Black African batting options but beef up bowling 0

Posted on May 10, 2017 by Ken

 

The absence of a single fully-contracted Black African batsman in the Titans squad for next season could limit their options when it comes to fulfilling the quota of three in every starting line-up, but CEO Jacques Faul said they had decided to beef up their bowling.

Grant Mokoena, who averaged just 26 in eight Sunfoil Series games and scored 49 runs at a strike-rate of only 89 in his three T20 appearances, has joined the Knights, while Daniel Sincuba played one four-day game, scoring 32 and 0, and has been released.

Former SA U19 Junior World Cup captain Tony de Zorzi showed glimpses of promise in a few opportunities he was given towards the end of the season, and he has been given a rookie contract, and the inside lane in terms of Black African batsmen.

Mokoena and Sincuba’s contracts have gone to a pair of fast bowlers who excelled for Northerns in their triumphant season – Eldred Hawken and Alfred Mothoa, while former SA U19 batsman Andrea Agathangelou, who has played county cricket for Lancashire and Leicestershire, has been signed from South-Western Districts.

“It’s probably not ideal, but we still have a lot of batting depth and we have decided to run with Tony de Zorzi, simply because whoever we bring in needs to be on the same sort of level as a Henry Davids or Aiden Markram, and there’s probably nobody close to that.

“We’ve beefed up the bowling and we have three quality pacemen in Lungi Ngidi, Malusi Siboto and Junior Dala, plus Alfred Mothoa is a banker and we’re excited about left-arm spinner Gregory Mahlokwana, who got injured after his first game, but we think he will play more,” Faul told The Citizen on Friday.

Nevertheless, readers of the Titans squad list will be struck by the tremendous depth at their disposal – eight current nationally-contracted players, four former Proteas and three players with bright international futures in Heinrich Klaasen, Markram and Ngidi.

Players like fast bowler Dala and leg-spinner Shaun von Berg are also certainly on the national selectors’ radar having been chosen for SA A and the CSA spin camp in India respectively.

Titans Contracted Players 2017/18: Andrea Agathangelou, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Heinrich Klaasen, Heino Kuhn, Eldred Hawken, Aiden Markram, Albie Morkel, Alfred Mothoa, Lungi Ngidi, Rowan Richards, Malusi Siboto, Grant Thomson, David Wiese, Shaun von Berg, Jonathan Vandiar. Rookies – Tony de Zorzi, Rivaldo Moonsamy. CSA-contracted national players – Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Morné Morkel, Chris Morris, Tabraiz Shamsi.

 

CSA to raise quotas 0

Posted on May 06, 2016 by Ken

 

Johannesburg-raised Grant Elliott, the star of New Zealand’s World Cup semi-final victory over South Africa on Tuesday, was a refugee from the quota system and there are fears of a fresh exodus of players after it was revealed Cricket South Africa (CSA) will raise the targets for players of colour and Black African cricketers for next season.

CSA’s plan to increase the number of players of colour required to feature in all franchise cricket to six from next season, including at least three Black Africans, and to make the quota seven players of colour, including four Black Africans, in the semi-professional teams has been slammed by the South African Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and the franchises, not least of all because they were not consulted before the announcement was made after they had done almost all of their contracting already for next season.

“We’re very unhappy, not with the decision itself because we represent all players and stay out of transformation decisions, but with the way it was done,” Tony Irish, the SACA chief executive, told The Citizen on Tuesday. “Our agreement with CSA requires them to consult with us and the franchises before doing things like that, and they have to do it before the franchise window for contracts starts on January 1.

“But they did this with two weeks left in the three-month window for transfers and 90% of the franchise contracts have been finalised based on the old numbers from last season. It means that players with contracts won’t be playing and the players that are playing won’t have contracts.”

The move, the second increase in the quota in successive seasons, will also have serious consequences for the pipeline of talent in South Africa because it effectively means that each union can only offer regular first-class cricket to 9 white players every season. Talented players on the fringes of their franchise sides like George Linde, Sybrand Engelbrecht, Daryn Smit, Calvin Savage, Duanne Olivier, Quinton Friend, Devon Conway, Sean Jamison, JP de Villiers, Shaun von Berg, Jon-Jon Smuts and David White could find themselves relegated to club cricket.

Players who have piqued the interest of the national selectors like Marchant de Lange, Vaughn van Jaarsveld, Corne Dry, Hardus Viljoen and Heino Kuhn could find themselves languishing in semi-professional cricket.

“This is exactly why consultation is so important, but CSA have completely disregarded us despite the agreements being clear. We are considering our options,” Irish said.

CSA spokesman Altaaf Kazi confirmed they had received a letter from SACA and “we are aware of their concerns and they are being addressed by the board”.

Elliott’s winning hand for New Zealand has once again put the spotlight on how much international-calibre talent South Africa loses, making a balanced, well thought-out response to the demands of transformation a necessity.

Mokuena part of a seismic week for Black African rugby 0

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Ken

 

The 15th week of 2016 could potentially be a seismic one in the history of Black African rugby in this country with Jonathan Mokuena leading Pukke to the Varsity Cup title and Mzwandile Stick being named a Springbok assistant coach.

While both former Springbok Sevens stars have quickly risen to coaching prominence, it is Mokuena who is perhaps accelerating even faster than former flyer Stick.

The 34-year-old Mokuena claimed the highly-competitive Varsity Cup title in his first year as a 15s coach and will now be guiding the Leopards in the Currie Cup as the doors slowly open for Black Africans at senior coaching level.

Speed and intensity will always be vital in rugby and, as a former Springbok Sevens captain, Mokuena’s coaching focuses on that.

“Coming from Sevens has been kind of an advantage because there’s a certain work ethic in Sevens. Coming to 15s, I try to train and operate at that same level, to introduce the same mental attitude. We train at a greater intensity and pace and under more pressure. In Sevens, because there are less guys on the field, one missed tackle can mean you lose the game,” Mokuena told The Saturday Citizen.

Mokuena was born in Cape Town in 1981 and received a bursary while at Prince George Primary to attend Voortrekker High School, an Afrikaans school.

“There was no soccer or volleyball, which I had been playing, at Voortrekker, I had to play cricket and rugby. It was just post-1994, so it was a bit uncomfortable, but I think having that challenge has allowed me to fit in well in small towns. I played my best rugby in Potchefstroom and Kimberley,” Mokuena said.

Having made his provincial debut for Western Province in 2002, Mokuena, a tough loose forward, relocated to Potchefstroom in 2004, playing 55 matches for the Leopards. From there he had stints with the Cheetahs and Griffons in the Free State, before joining Griquas, who he captained to the Vodacom Cup title in 2009, being named the player of the tournament.

He then joined the Lions, in the years before they were the slick, settled and reasonably happy outfit they are now.

“In my two years at the Lions, the coaching staff changed four times – from Jake White to Dick Muir to John Mitchell and then Johan Ackermann. So it was never consistent, which you need to fit in as a player. But I wanted to play SuperRugby. I wasn’t helped by a knee injury and then I missed a tour when my first child was born,” Mokuena recalls.

Before taking up coaching, Mokuena spent three years in the corporate world and, coupled with some bad experiences of how coaching should not be done at the Lions, it has helped shape his own coaching philosophy.

“You see what works in the corporate world and there are a lot of similarities with sport. You learn how to work better with people and how to manage people. Not everyone dances to the same music, you have got to discover what works in your set-up and figure out what sort of people your players are.

“A coach will impact more young people in a year than most people do in a lifetime, so it’s about those person-to-person relationships and creating an environment to grow people, a family environment,” Mokuena said.

The married father of three, who says his biggest playing highlight was winning the man of the match award for the Royal XV against the British and Irish Lions in 2009, says the future goal is the Springboks, but the now is his focus.

“The ultimate goal is to be Springbok coach, but at the moment I’m just focusing on getting the structures right for the Leopards, the Currie Cup is my immediate goal. The Varsity Cup has gone, we’ve ticked that box, and the Currie Cup is next, I want everyone to see we are going about things the right way here.

“The Black coaches have always been there, it’s just about opportunity. It’s slowly opening up but we don’t want to be appointed because of our colour,” Mokuena said.

The stately Varsity Cup trophy sitting in his office in Potchefstroom proves the waves Mokuena is making have nothing to do with window-dressing.

http://www.citizen.co.za/1077177/mokuena-making-waves/

Lions make history on transformation front 0

Posted on July 10, 2012 by Ken

Gauteng cricket may have been accused in the past of being slow on the transformation front, but they made history on Tuesday by announcing Geoffrey Toyana as the new Highveld Lions head coach, the first black African to take charge of a franchise team.

Although the bold move may be seen as a gamble given that Toyana has never been a head coach at franchise level before, the 38-year-old has been steadily working his way up the coaching ladder and has done his apprenticeship.

He was the assistant coach to previous Lions mentor Dave Nosworthy, who resigned last month, and was the head coach of the Easterns team between 2008 and 2011. Toyana has also been an assistant coach with the SA U19 and Emerging Players teams.

“This is a very important and historic day for the development of cricket in this region. Geoffrey has a wealth of experience and talent, he played at the highest provincial level and he’s the right person to make sure there is a constant flow in the pipeline from amateur to professional cricket. We decided not to advertise the post because we felt we had somebody with the quality and experience to replace Dave Nosworthy in Geoffrey,” Lions CEO Cassim Docrat said at the Wanderers on Tuesday.

A left-handed batsman and part-time offspinner, Toyana played 84 first-class and 71 List A limited-overs games for Transvaal, Gauteng, Easterns and the Titans, between 1995/96 and 2011. He averaged just 24.49 and 18.95 respectively, scoring just one century, but his career was marked by the impression that his talent was never quite set free to blossom.

But you should not judge a coach by his playing record – Graham Ford, John Buchanan, Richard Pybus and Nosworthy himself are proof of that – and Toyana is confident that his own struggles as a cricketer will give him the empathy and understanding to help his charges.

Toyana should perhaps be more wary of the growing level of interference coaches now have to put up with from their boards – which is believed to be the reason Nosworthy resigned – but the Soweto product said his predecessor had taught him well.

“I’m very close to the board and there are no issues between us. But Dave also taught me a lot in terms of how to handle selection and budgets,” Toyana said.

The new coach will also have a hardened right-hand man in bowling coach Gordon Parsons, your typical crusty old county pro who was also the head coach of the Lions between 2005/6 and 2007/8, with Dumisa Makalima (video analyst), Craig Govender (physio) and Jeff Lunsky (trainer) the other support staff.

While the Lions played fantastic, entertaining cricket during their MiWay T20 Challenge run to the final last season, they ultimately fell short in the final, extending the franchise’s trophy-less run to five seasons. Toyana will inherit a squad with some exciting youngsters as well as a handful of experienced veterans, but he knows the lack of trophies will be the first thing he has to remedy.

“We have a good, experienced squad, but for the last five years we have struggled to win trophies. I hope I can turn this around and I’m walking into a structure that is all set up, so I want to create an environment in which the players can grow,” Toyana said.

“But I’m very delighted and humbled by the appointment and I hope I can be an example for other coaches in the townships and show that if you do the work, you can make it.”

Toyana’s appointment has been lauded by the Soweto Cricket Club, where both he and his father, Gus, began their playing days.

“As a club, where Geoffrey has played most of his cricket since his late father, Gus Toyana, led the club as captain and chairman, we are overjoyed at the message this sends to not only our players, but to all previously disadvantaged cricketers in both province and country. Geoffrey has always been a sterling example of a rolemodel throughout his cricket career,” Soweto CC chairman Gordon Templeton said.

“The board of the Lions franchise have illustrated the ability to be visionary in their outlook for the future of cricket not only in the Gauteng province, but also in South Africa. History will reflect that they have taken a cricketing decision to usher in a new era in the sport.”

http://www.supersport.com/cricket/domestic-cricket/news/120710/Lions_make_history_in_appointing_Toyana

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

    The lessons Christ taught were intensely spiritual, but also extremely practical. For him, everything - every thought and deed - was an expression of his relationship with his heavenly Father. All of our life must be an expression of the spiritual.

    "I wait upon God to renew my mind, to make me creative, instead of becoming the clanging cymbal that Paul spoke of." - Paul Tournier

    "The spiritual life touches the realities of every day and enables you to look, to a certain extent, at people's problems as God does." - Solly Ozrovech



↑ Top