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Ken Borland

There’s 1 positive from T20GL collapse, but will we get the answers? 0

Posted on October 31, 2017 by Ken


The only positive to come out of the T20 Global League fiasco right now is that all the best players in South Africa will be available for the domestic T20 competition that will fill the gap created by the collapse of the ambitious but overhyped get-rich-quick scheme.

The CSA T20 Challenge was going to be played from mid-March, in the middle of the Test series against Australia, and would have ended in mid-April, by which time everyone would probably have been exhausted by cricket anyway after what was going to be the most hectic summer in South African history. The tour by India was going to be sandwiched in between the T20 Global League and the arrival of the Aussies.

But now the domestic T20 will actually have a decent window and the participation of the Proteas, so that is at least some good that has come out of the crater-sized hole that has been left in our cricket, both in terms of the calendar and financial resources.

Given the magnitude of the crisis – it has the potential to dwarf the Gerald Majola bonus scandal – it is only right and proper that Cricket South Africa shares with all their stakeholders – the public, the players and sponsors – just how they managed to get this so wrong.

The South African Cricketers’ Association’s call for an independent review to be set up is exactly right, but after the machinations of the board during the bonus scandal (there were a couple of reviews that were disgracefully lacking in integrity), I have some doubts over CSA’s ability to put all their cards on the table so their stakeholders can get to the bottom of exactly what went wrong.

It is obvious that the CSA board once again, as in Majola’s case, allowed their CEO far too much latitude to just operate on his own, doing what he liked without proper oversight. Another CEO told me that Haroon Lorgat’s sidelining of the chief financial officer from the biggest financial project the organisation has ever undertaken should have set off obvious alarm bells for the board.

The lack of timely action taken by the board (at least they did something before the bleeding became terminal) raises questions over the culpability of their own members in this disaster and that is something that should be within the scope of an independent review.

A more pressing issue is compensation for the players. While CSA are now so financially squeezed that they are like a lemon at a seafood festival, they are going to have to make payouts to the 144 players who were set to play in the T20 Global League.

Many of those had signed on for juicy contracts and have made financial commitments that are now in tatters; many gave up on other opportunities, some of them even at international level. Think of the players who qualified to be rookies this year, but by next year will be 24 and too old.

“The total player loss is very significant and there are many sad stories out there,” SACA head Tony Irish said.

And let’s not forget the bad PR that will follow from many of the top international players who will be spreading news around the world of how disgruntled and let down they feel.

Lorgat used to boast about how CSA were the top sports federation in the country, but after his ignominious fall, they are in the same position they were in when they appointed the former International Cricket Council CEO – desperately trying to win back the confidence of the players and public.

Proteas have South Africans greeting new day in celebratory fashion 1

Posted on November 16, 2016 by Ken


South African cricket fans were seriously contemplating greeting the new day on Tuesday with a celebratory tipple after the Proteas completed a series win in Australia in magnificent fashion overnight, winning the second Test in Hobart by an innings as they inflicted another stunning collapse on the hosts.

And that included injured fast bowler Dale Steyn and former captain Graeme Smith.

Steyn sent a tweet saying “Speechless! Think I’m gana have a beer at 3am”, while Smith posted a photo of himself with a can of the sponsor’s beer and wrote “In the office waiting for the appropriate time to celebrate the #proteas”.

Regular captain AB de Villiers, who is also out injured, sent his congratulations to the team on social media with a message that read “Once again, not much to say when a team performs like that! Pure class. #ProteaFire at its best!!! Enjoy the celebrations guys”.

The victory meant South Africa have now won their last three Test series in Australia, a phenomenal achievement against the most consistent super-powers of the game, and something only two other countries have managed – the all-powerful West Indies team in 1984/85, 1988/89 and 1992/93, considered one of the greatest sides in history, and England, who won three consecutive series in Australia in the early days of Test cricket between 1884 and 1888.

“It is comfortably the hardest place to go and win and when you enter Australia’s backyard, they’ll be sure to tell you that. I played against various Australian teams and they were always ruthless and relentless, the pitches are so good over there and they know exactly how to play on them.

“Having coached there as well, they hate losing, they cannot stand losing in their own backyard, so it was a terrific performance by the Proteas and I was very proud to watch,” fast bowling great Allan Donald told The Citizen on Tuesday.

“The bowling in the whole series has been pretty darn good. After the poor first innings in Perth, to recover and bowl Australia out on that flat pitch was a helluva achievement. Since Dale Steyn departed, Kyle Abbott, who has been Mr Reliable for some time, has been given the chance to fill his boots and he’s proven again what a quality bowler he is. The whole attack has been brilliant, it’s been a collective effort,” Donald, who served as South Africa’s bowling coach between 2011 and 2013, and also fulfilled the same role for Australia on a short-term contract earlier this year, said.


Schwartzel pictures Glendower favourably despite agony there 0

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Ken


When Charl Schwartzel pictures Glendower Golf Club he does not see the agony of his final round collapse and playoff defeat against Andy Sullivan in the South African Open in January this year or his surrender of the lead in the previous edition of the second-oldest national open.

He sees a course he likes and has played well on, a course that suits his strategic approach to golf.

“I’ve finished second a few times in the South African Open and the title evaded me the last two years here, but Glendower is a course that suits me well and I don’t look at it as two disappointments here. I’m excited that I can come back to a place where I know I came close in the past, I have another opportunity on a course that has treated me well.

“Two years in a row I’ve had chances to win but there are a lot of good players out there and I know the more times I contend, I will eventually break through. But it’s a positive that I’ve come close at Glendower and I’ll come here in early January and prepare well. You have to play cleverly here, think your way around, it requires a lot of strategy and thinking, which is right down my alley,” Schwartzel said at Glendower on Wednesday when the classic old course was announced as the South African Open venue for the third straight year. The 2016 tournament will be from January 7-10.

Schwartzel squandered four shots in the last five holes of the 2015 SA Open and then lost on the first hole of the playoff to Sullivan. The previous Glendower SA Open saw Schwartzel leading by three shots four holes into the final round, before he faded to a 71 and finished three behind winner Morten Orum Madsen.

But the local favourite says he is not chained to the past and is looking forward to starting a fresh year at Glendower in the second week of 2016.

“I’ll have a good break now, I’m not playing any tournaments in December so it will be a nice long break and I feel that I need it. The physical factors are there, my long game is better than ever, but I need to build my confidence back up because you need confidence to win,” Schwartzel said.

The 31-year-old said he hopes the South African Open will continue to be the sort of tournament fathers tell their children about when they’re sitting on their knee, and he was delighted with the announcement of BMW as the new title sponsors.

“It’s even better news that BMW are now involved. When you see the passion of Ernie Els [tournament host] to play in it, it’s inspiring for the future generations. I hope guys like Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace feel the same as me, because I’m going to keep coming back and give it my all. I hope it works out this time, but if it doesn’t, I’ll try again,” Schwartzel said.

With South African golfers desperate to avoid a hat-trick of overseas winners, the fur is sure to fly at Glendower in January, especially if rumours of some huge foreign names coming to play turn out to be true.


Philander covers himself in glory again 0

Posted on December 17, 2011 by Ken

Rookie seam bowler Vernon Philander covered himself in glory once again as he took five wickets, and 10 in the match, to lead South Africa to victory by an innings and 81 runs in the first test against Sri Lanka at Centurion on Saturday.

Sri Lanka produced a shameful batting performance against the relentless South African attack as they subsided to 150 all out in their second innings eight minutes before tea to lose in less than three days.

Sri Lanka were bowled out in just 39.1 overs on a pitch that still sported a healthy amount of grass, as Philander took five for 49, giving him match figures of 10 for 102.

Only Thilan Samaraweera, who top-scored with 32 in 71 minutes, and lower-order batsmen Kaushal Silva (17), Thisara Perera (21) and Rangana Herath (23) showed the right degree of resistance as the home attack sped through the Sri Lankan batting line-up.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn supported Philander well as he took two for 36.

Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher took six catches as the South African bowlers zipped the ball around the edges of the bat in helpful conditions.

Sri Lanka had collapsed to 38 for four by lunch, but the middle-order dug in before South Africa’s charge to victory gathered momentum again when Steyn and Philander returned to the attack.

Philander claimed the wicket of Angelo Mathews for five with a superb delivery that nipped away from back-of-a-length, found the edge of the bat and Boucher took a good catch.

Lanky fast bowler Morne Morkel had Samaraweera caught by Boucher in the next over with one of the few deliveries he managed to get on target.

Philander then wrapped up the innings with deliveries that obtained extra bounce to dismiss Chanaka Welegedara and Herath and claim his fourth five-wicket haul in his first three tests.

South Africa had batted for four overs on the third morning, extending their first innings total to 411 all out – a lead of 231 – before Sri Lanka collapsed in a heap before lunch.
Philander struck twice with the new ball and Steyn once, and there was also a stupid run out as Sri Lanka’s top-order showed little confidence on a pitch that offered both seam and bounce.
Philander struck first in the fourth over when he had Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan caught behind by Boucher for six.
Dilshan prodded at the ball, it hit the edge and wicketkeeper Boucher took a good catch diving forward.
It was Steyn’s nagging line and length, with a bit of movement, that accounted for fellow opener Tharanga Paranavitana, who also edged a catch to Boucher, on four.
Philander then got the key scalp of Sangakkara for just two, as the left-hander got into a tangle against an excellent delivery that swung and then seamed away, edging another catch to Boucher.
Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka’s leading run-scorer, suffered the heartbreak of being stranded just one run short of 10 000 test runs when he was run out for 15.
Jayawardene had defended a lively delivery from Jacques Kallis back down the pitch when partner Samaraweera called for an unlikely single. With the new laws no longer allowing Jayawardene to change direction and run in front of the stumps, the quick-thinking Kallis was able to throw down the wickets at the bowler’s end, leaving the batsman stranded on 9999 runs in his 126th test.
Earlier, the veteran Boucher had completed his first half-century in 18 months to relieve the pressure on him, finishing with 65 as he and Imran Tahir (29 not out) extended their last-wicket stand to 61, South Africa’s best against Sri Lanka and highest at Centurion.
Left-arm paceman Welegedara and seamer Perera shared six wickets for Sri Lanka.

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