for quality writing

Ken Borland



A buzzing that killed the Wanderers buzz … until Pierre arrived 0

Posted on February 07, 2017 by Ken

 

The buzzing atmosphere of a full Wanderers Bullring has always been one of the standout features of South African cricket, but there was also a buzzing of a kind less conducive to cricket on Saturday as the third one-day international between the Proteas and Sri Lanka was interrupted for an hour by a swarm of bees.

Midway through the Sri Lankan innings, the players were forced to lie flat on the ground by the swarm, which also colonised wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s helmet left behind him on the field. Play resumed for a short while but then the umpires took the players off the field.

The groundstaff tried to cajole the hive into a wheelie-bin and also sprayed a couple of fire extinguishers on them, which just temporarily dispersed them and presumably made them more angry.

Enter one Pierre Hefer, who has obviously been taught the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Hefer, who describes himself as a hobbyist beekeeper, said he was sitting at home in Emmarentia watching the cricket and the delay as none of the plans against the bees worked, when he realised he could help.

Amazingly, and fortuitously, security allowed him to park outside the stadium and gain entry without a ticket nor accreditation. Being dressed in white overalls, with long boots and gloves and carrying trays containing honey and wax, obviously helped him convince the authorities that he was supplying an emergency service.

Hefer said the honey and wax were the key ingredients in attracting the bees into a container. The trick, according to the silver-haired hero of the day, is to keep the bees congregated on whatever they have settled on, making them far easier to move.

The Wanderers has seen many heroes during the 61 years it has been in use, but few have been as unlikely as Pierre Hefer, the beekeeper who was sitting at home and came over to help. It was certainly the biggest crowd he has ever performed in front of and the gratitude of the masses who had gathered for the Pink ODI in order to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer was obvious.

 

Ruthless AB makes it all look so easy … but it ain’t 0

Posted on April 07, 2015 by Ken

AB de Villiers slamming six after six at the Wanderers and the peaceful surrounds of the Kruger National Park may not have much in common, but seeing as though I was at the Bullring last weekend and I am now in South Africa’s corner of paradise up north, I’m going to link them anyway.

I say the peaceful surrounds of Kruger because it certainly brings a wonderful feeling of wellbeing and there is a sense of the universe being in harmony as you watch the swallows cruising in the sky and zebra and elephant feeding contentedly.

Of course, as children we have this idyllic image of nature, but the truth is that there is a battle for survival going on in the great outdoors every moment, and it’s generally a case of eat or be eaten.

Watching this great show unfold on the plains north of Punda Maria, I was reminded of De Villiers, cricket tragic that I am.

It’s been many years – probably back to 2005/06 when Herschelle Gibbs annihilated the Australians at the same venue – since I have seen an innings at international level in which a batsman so ruthlessly dominated the opposition bowlers.

Much like the peaceful façade going on in Kruger Park, De Villiers made batting look like child’s play on the surface. He seemed to be toying with the bowlers: If he wanted to score on the leg-side, he was able to even if they bowled a metre outside off stump; if he wanted to score on the off-side, there was precious little the West Indians could do about it; on any length, De Villiers was able to hit straight back down the ground.

It may have looked easy, but it most certainly isn’t; it took hours and hours of work in the nets and mastering the mental side of the game, plus an extraordinary talent switched on to close to full power for that innings to happen.

International sport relies on the competition being fierce; these are the top athletes in their chosen sports competing with each other and there needs to be the thrill of the hunt.

Mixed in with the feelings of awe at watching De Villiers bat were pangs of regret that he was making batting look as easy as a hit-about on the beach.

But the fact that De Villiers was so utterly dominant should not detract from his innings – that is his genius, to create another level for himself above the ‘mediocrity’ of international sport. To find or clear the boundary 25 times from 44 balls is an almost super-human feat, but by his own admission, De Villiers has not yet fully explored his talent – there were a handful of dot balls (oh, the horror!) in his innings and some of his fours would have been sixes if they had come entirely out of the meat of the bat.

I was wearing a Proteas shirt driving up to Kruger Park the day after the Wanderers ODI and received several very positive comments from locals living in rural Limpopo which suggests Cricket South Africa, after some acrimonious years of discontent, are doing a great job in spreading the game.

It helps, of course, to have young men like De Villiers providing such incredible entertainment.

 

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Thought of the Day

    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



↑ Top