for quality writing

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.

Grace laughs off ‘iffy round’ as chasing pack catch him 0

Posted on February 16, 2015 by Ken

Alfred Dunhill Championship leader Branden Grace could only post a level-par 72 on Saturday as the chasing pack all but caught him at Leopard Creek, but the South African laughed it off as an “iffy round”.

Grace was five shots ahead after rounds of 62 and 66, but while Saturday’s third round was a struggle for him, it was a joyous breeze for golfers like Lucas Bjerregaard and the in-form Danny Willett.

Bjerregaard started the third round seven shots off the pace but is now in a fine position to continue the recent success of Danish golfers in South Africa, firing a marvellous six-under-par 66 to finish on 15-under, just one stroke behind Grace.

Willett also had an outstanding round, with three birdies on the front nine and four on the back, his only blemish being a double-bogey six on the ninth, as he leapt into third place on 14-under.

Francesco Molinari, in second place overnight, was two under through 10 holes, but he was cowed by the back nine, unable to pick up another shot and was overtaken by Bjerregaard and Willett.

The highlight of the day was Bjerregaard’s roaring finish, the 23-year-old coming in with three successive birdies, following an eagle on the famous par-five 13th.

“It’s a great position to be in and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. After seven or eight holes it definitely didn’t look like I was going to be in this position, so it was nice to turn things around and play a really solid back nine,” Bjerregaard said.

Grace, in contrast, bogeyed the 17th and had to save par on the 18th to limp home, but he was still in good spirits at the end of a tough day. Overcast conditions meant the usual blistering Lowveld heat was absent, but the golfers had to contend with the wind picking up and the ball not travelling as far in the cooler temperatures.

“It was a tough day, but I didn’t play too badly, I wouldn’t call it a bad round. It’s not as if I’m going to the range to try and find something, there’s not much I need to work on. I’ll take the positives into the final round, I’m still ahead and I’ll come with a positive frame of mind tomorrow [Sunday].

“I’m still hitting the ball well, I just need to make better decisions. You always expect one iffy round in a tournament and if that was it then I’m alright with it,” Grace said after an up-and-down round with four bogeys and four birdies.

Bjerregaard actually started his round with a bogey to immediately fall eight shots behind the leader, but there was little fuss from the tall, muscular golfer as he went out in 35 with two birdies and one more dropped shot, before catching fire on the back nine. Blessed with a hot putter, he made hay while the sun didn’t shine.

“I putted really well. Made good ones on 16 and 17, both were about six metres. I didn’t make any really long ones, but I made some good par putts on the front nine, a couple of six-footers to make par and keep things going,” he said.

The strangely cool weather looks set to give way to a typical scorcher in Malelane on Sunday and, while Grace has led wire-to-wire thus far, the threat is writ large from several golfers below him.

Even the little-known Englishman Andrew Johnston is in the mix after he eagled the 18th to complete a 68 that put him on 12-under.

Louis Oosthuizen also eagled the last hole after a magnificent seven-iron to five feet and he is also not out of the running on 10-under-par after a 68.

http://citizen.co.za/292937/grace-post-level-par-72-alfred-dunhill-championship/

  • 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