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Ken Borland



Lorgat defends lack of T20GL transformation quotas 0

Posted on September 25, 2017 by Ken

 

Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat on Monday defended the absence of transformation quotas in the T20 Global League, saying it was a risk that had paid off with 55 players of colour amongst the 144 players chosen in the draft, including 19 Black Africans.

“We did debate having targets but we decided not to because we have a bottom-up approach with our hubs and schools. It was a risk but we want to see our players come through naturally and it was very pleasing to see Black players chosen as some of the best-paid by people who had no compulsion to do so.

“It shows that our system is working, foreign coaches wanting those players is what we are aiming for. We will not relent in terms of our development of Black players either, because your market is where your majority is and you don’t have to be a professor of economics to understand that. We’re doing it the hard way, from the bottom up,” Lorgat said on Monday.

The CEO and tournament director Russell Adams announced the fixtures for the T20 Global League on Monday in Cape Town, with 57 games being played over six weeks. With each team playing the other seven franchises home and away, that means there will be no playoffs but the top two teams after the league phase will go straight into the final at the Wanderers on Saturday, December 16.

With Johannesburg guaranteed the final for the foreseeable future, it means Cape Town will host the opening game, between the Knight Riders and the Pretoria Mavericks, on Friday, November 3, at least this year.

“In future the opening match will be played at the home of the winners of the previous year’s tournament. We also had a big debate about where to stage the final, but there are logistical challenges around having it in Cape Town around December 16 – there’s the World Sevens Series tournament and everyone is on holiday.

“Wanderers has a bigger capacity and there are more flights and accommodation available in Johannesburg. And we are looking to make the final at one host venue a fixture of the tournament which means people can do their planning, they can even make their bookings for the Wanderers on December 16, 2020,” Lorgat said.

“We also had debates about playoffs and semi-finals, but the league is the reason for the competition and we wanted to reward the two best sides with a place in the final, otherwise a team could come through at the expense of someone who’s had a great league season.”

https://citizen.co.za/sport/south-africa-sport/sa-cricket-sport/1630775/csa-defends-lack-of-formal-quotas-in-t20-global-league/

Hockey’s junior stars are talented & transformed 0

Posted on May 03, 2016 by Ken

 

The South African men’s U21 team played in the final of the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals in Randburg on Saturday, showing that there is plenty of young talent coming through the ranks. But they are also thoroughly transformed with eight players of colour in the squad, including six Black Africans, showing that hockey is heading away from the representivity frustrations that have dogged them in the past.

And while “quotas” is a word bandied about by the older generation, it is not a hip word when it comes to hockey’s rising young talent.

“It hasn’t been difficult at all to find players of colour for the team because these guys have come through the age-groups, they’ve played together in the U16s and U18s, where there is a heck of a lot of good quality. The core of this side have played Tests together for the SA U18s and made the Junior Olympics semi-finals with the SA U17s, both under Neville Rothman, my assistant coach.

“So there are no quota – I hate that word – players in the team. They were all born after 1995 and have played in every national team together, so there is no baggage. They say it themselves in team meetings that the colour of your skin makes no difference. There’s a very positive feeling in this squad, there’s such a positive culture,” SA U21 coach Garreth Ewing said.

The players of colour in the current squad that is beating seasoned professionals at the senior IPT are composed midfielder Tyson Dlungwana, defender Nduduza Lembethe, Ryan Julius, an elusive runner with the ball, forward Khumo Mokale, the skilful Nqobile Ntuli, pacy Tevin Kok, solid Amkelwa Letuka and goalkeeper Siyavuya Nolutshungu, and they would comfortably be playing in this IPT for their provincial sides were they not on national duty.

“Obviously we do pay close attention to the players of colour, but a lot of them are our best players. Some of them are going to be superstars. They have a long way to go, but their ability and decision-making under pressure is already so good. I can’t wait to see where they all go, six of them already have full national caps,” Ewing said.

Ewing, who has considerable experience coaching both locally and internationally, clearly likes the emphasis on bringing through players of colour that has to be there if South African hockey are to get back to where they want to be – in the upper echelons of the world game.

“What is coming through underneath shows that there is so much potential. We’re not afraid of targets, we embrace them. Things don’t happen overnight, but we’re getting there. The guys play with such joy and style, their hockey is so attractive,” Ewing said.

Most encouragingly, Black coaches are also starting to come through. The losing semi-finalists, KZN Raiders and the Northerns Blues, are coached by Sihle Ntuli and Krinesan Moodley respectively. WP Peninsula are coached by Denzil Dolley and the team they played in the B Section final, KZN Mynahs, are mentored by Sharmin Naidoo

Patrick Tshutshani is Ewing’s counterpart with the junior women, Ryan Pillay coached the Western Province women’s team and even the Mpumalanga women’s team have a Black African coach in Brighty Mshaba.

Numerous other players of colour have shone with Jermaine Johnson and Julian Hykes both playing key roles in getting Southern Gauteng into the men’s final, while Pierre de Voux of Western Province and KZN’s Mohamed Mea are two newer players that are going to have the national selectors’ eyes on them.

The story is the same in the women’s section: Southern Gauteng are going to take on Northerns Blues in the final with Sanani Mangisa their stalwart in goal and Toni Marks and Lisa Hawker two of their man threats up front.

Northerns have Mmatshepo Modipane in goal.

But there is a challenge that SA Hockey will need outside help to overcome and, as ever, it is a financial one.

“The financial challenges for the previously disadvantaged players is huge. Consider the cost of going to our world cup – and the players have to pay! My biggest fear is having to leave someone behind because they can’t afford it,” Ewing says sombrely.

What I’m looking forward to in the Springbok squad announcement 0

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Ken

The Springbok squad for the end-of-year tour to Europe will be announced on Monday and I will be looking forward to half-a-dozen Black Africans being named in the 36-man group, all of them entirely on merit.

The Springboks will be playing against Ireland, England, Italy and Wales and will be in action from November 8-29. The final Test, against Wales in Cardiff, will be played without any overseas-based players, but from the first-choice 23 that only rules out Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen, Schalk Burger and Bakkies Botha.

Probably the most interesting aspect of the tour will be whether the Springboks can adapt the fast-paced game they seemed to have mastered by beating the All Blacks in their last match to the heavier fields of Europe. It’s important to remember that this is a dress rehearsal for the World Cup because it’s the last time South Africa will play in the United Kingdom before that showpiece tournament starts next September, so there will be limited experimentation.

I’m looking forward to Lwazi Mvovo getting a run on the wing in that Test against Wales, which could also see Western Province flyer and former Springbok Sevens star Seabelo Senatla on the bench as he embarks on the next step of what will surely be a stellar international career.

After all the speculation and comments before the game against New Zealand, there’s no doubt Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje was on trial at Ellis Park and he came through with flying colours with a great all-round display. After plying his trade on the University of the Free State fields a year ago, he can now look forward to strutting his stuff on the famous turf of Twickenham, Lansdowne Road and the Millenium Stadium.

Trevor Nyakane should also be on the bench as cover for the estimable Tendai Mtawarira, while the third hooker behind Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss will surely be either Scarra Ntubeni or Bongi Mbonambi now that Schalk Brits is out injured.

The total number of players of colour should be 11 as the Springboks slowly but surely move towards properly representing the demographics of South Africa.

Coach Heyneke Meyer has held his cards close to his chest, but what he has divulged is that the selectors met two weeks ago to discuss the squad so brilliant displays out of the blue in the Currie Cup knockout rounds are unlikely to influence the composition of the squad. The fact that the squad will be announced on Monday and not directly after the Currie Cup final is further indication that Meyer wants to move away from selections based on a fortnight of brilliance.

Nevertheless, he could well want to gather more information on key Lions players like Jaco Kriel, Julian Redelinghuys, Schalk van der Merwe, Ruan Dreyer and Marnitz Boshoff.

He has already gathered some insight into the likes of Senatla, Rudy Paige, Nizaam Carr and Mbonambi at training camps in the last month and they are all in line for their first Springbok call-ups.

Questions that Meyer will also look to get answered during the tour are:

  • Is Handre Pollard still the best choice at flyhalf when conditions call for a more tactical game?;
  • if Ruan Pienaar is still struggling with injury, who is the next best scrumhalf?;
  • What is the best loose trio balance, both starting and on the bench?;
  • What depth exists at tighthead prop and outside centre?;
  • If Willie le Roux gets injured, who plays fullback?

 

Possible Springbok squad: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, JP Pietersen, Jan Serfontein, Damien de Allende, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Lwazi Mvovo, Seabelo Senatla, Handre Pollard, Pat Lambie, Morne Steyn/Marnitz Boshoff, Francois Hougaard, Cobus Reinach, Ruan Pienaar/Rudy Paige, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley, Nizaam Carr, Teboho Mohoje, Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Schalk Burger, Jaco Kriel, Victor Matfield, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Bakkies Botha, Jannie du Plessis, Julian Redelinghuys, Bismarck du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Scarra Ntubeni/Bongi Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Schalk van der Merwe, Ruan Dreyer/Lourens Adriaanse.

 

Cricket steps towards proper integration, but what of rugby? 0

Posted on October 02, 2014 by Ken

Cricket took another major step towards properly integrating the game this weekend when the domestic season began with the new quota/target/requirement of at least two Black Africans per franchise … and the world did not end.

In fact, Temba Bavuma showed that he is one of the most promising batsmen in the country with a delightful innings at the Wanderers, handling the pace of Marchant de Lange with aplomb, Kagiso Rabada showed that he has a tremendous cricketing brain inside that athletic 19-year-old body, while Ethy Mbhalati and Tumi Masakela both bowled tidily, the latter for the Knights against the Warriors in Bloemfontein.

There was a predictable outcry when Cricket South Africa first announced this new “target” in mid-year, but 20 years of democracy has proven that some sectors of society are still recalcitrant when it comes to righting the wrongs of the past and trying to level the playing fields when it comes to opportunity, which is surely one of the basic premises of all sport.

Some people require a push in the right direction. But if the moral imperatives of fair play and equal opportunity aren’t incentive enough, then economic and sporting reality should be. Sports like cricket and rugby are still only tapping into a tiny proportion of the population, and therefore the talent in this country; by opening the doors of opportunity to more people, it stands to reason that our teams will become stronger.

While I am pleased that Black African cricketers will now have more opportunity at first-class level, therefore deepening the talent pool available to the Proteas, I was even more delighted with the news that Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has handed Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje a start in today’s Test against the Wallabies.

At least now maybe the storms of accusation that have been circulating on electronic and social media will end.

It is perfectly understandable that some people, after all the years of suffering under Apartheid, still have a chip on their shoulders, but as a nation we should be trying to discuss these issues with less emotion.

There are so many armchair, semi-knowledgeable coaches out there and yet they feel they know better than a highly-qualified and decorated coach like Meyer when it comes to rugby reasons for selection? Worst of all, Meyer was accused of racism.

This is patently ridiculous when you consider that it was Meyer who recognised the raw material in Mohoje and brought him into the Springbok squad after he had started just five SuperRugby matches, all of them at home.

That’s the sort of affirmative action I fully support, but the peanut gallery who then wanted Mohoje to be hurried into the Rugby Championship starting XV are likely to harm his future prospects rather than help them.

Sure, Juan Smith leapfrogged Mohoje and had a bad game against Argentina but who can blame a coach, with his job on the line, for backing the pedigree of an experienced player who had performed brilliantly in the Heineken Cup? And places on the bench generally don’t necessarily go to the next best player, but to the player who can bring the most value to the side in terms of impact and utility value.

And those people saying Mohoje has been treated differently to someone like Arno Botha should note that the Bulls loose forward played 22 SuperRugby matches before making his debut against Italy and Scotland, the same team the Cheetahs flank began his international career against.

Perhaps the days are not far off when South African rugby franchises, like their cricketing counterparts, will have to play a couple of Black Africans. Only then will Meyer not have to manipulate the system and try and fast-track players. Selection is a gamble at the best of times and political sensitivities make it an absolute minefield.

 

 



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