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Ken Borland

The crude & immoral reasons behind the Lorgat witch-hunt 0

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Ken


And so, finally, we know why the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have been so keen to sideline Haroon Lorgat, and why English and Australian administrators sided with them in agreeing to a witch-hunt that would keep the former International Cricket Council CEO sidelined while those three countries stage a hostile takeover of the game.

 If you’re going to stage a coup that hands almost complete power in cricket to the three greedy pigs of India, England and Australia, using the flimsiest of economic reasons to justify it, then the last person you want in the boardroom is a trained chartered accountant with in-depth knowledge of the ICC and their global events, someone able to see through the efforts to bamboozle with lots of numbers, and able to rally the other nations into rejecting, with the utter contempt it deserves, the crude and immoral proposal to change the ICC’s structure.

While Lorgat’s suspension from ICC activities was ostensibly part of India’s efforts to punish him for not kowtowing to their every whim while he was the global body’s CEO, it has now become clear that the BCCI’s shameful interference in Cricket South Africa affairs was part of a much bigger plan – an evil attempt to seize control of cricket, along with England and Australia. David Becker’s ill-judged letter then provided the perfect ammunition to force Lorgat’s removal from ICC affairs.

While the players – through Fica, their international union – and fans the world over have expressed their dismay at the new low the world’s leading cricket administrators are now proposing, the aptly-named Wally Edwards, the Cricket Australia chairman and one of the three men responsible for drafting the bombshell proposal, expressed his annoyance that anybody has dared to question the bona fides of himself, Narayanaswami Srinivasan of India (the Jabba the Hutt of world cricket) and the odious Giles Clarke of England.

“Traditionally, Cricket Australia does not comment on ICC discussions it is about to have – we talk to other ICC nations across the table rather than via the media. But we were today disappointed to see the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations question whether CA and others have met their fiduciary duties as ICC members,” Edwards harrumphed.

But his feeble protestations cannot hide the fact that three nations are trying to use their current wealth to ensure a monopoly over the game that will only widen the gap between them and the rest of the cricket-playing world; cricket will become like American Football, a game reserved for the few and ignored by the rest of the world.

Which makes it clear that Edwards has not met his fiduciary duties as an ICC director. He and the other two conspirators are proposing something that is patently not in the best interests of the game as a whole, but will rather serve the narrow self-interest of three countries only.

It will take cricket back to the dark days of the Imperial Cricket Conference, where you had to be a member of the British Empire to join and England and Australia both held a veto when it came to voting on anything to do with the game.

It was only in 1993, with the formation of the International Cricket Council, that this stranglehold on the game was broken. One can only hope that when the ICC board meets at the end of this month, the other seven Full Members don’t vote themselves back into slavery again.

And while they are at it, Edwards, Srinivasan and Clarke, a former investment banker, should all be summarily fired as directors and Lorgat should be exonerated of all wrongdoing.

It’s all gone very quiet when it comes to his inquiry, by now the ICC really should have been able to find evidence if there was any unethical behaviour on his part. But then again, the evil triumvirate will have achieved what they set out to do with their spurious allegations if Lorgat is not inside the ICC Board meeting at the end of the month, having already been absent when the restructuring proposal was sprung on the other directors on January 9.

The BCCI have already issued a thinly-veiled threat to boycott ICC events like the World Cup and the World T20 if the Board does not submit to their plan for world domination.

In a statement released on Thursday, the BCCI said it had “authorised the office bearers to enter into agreements with ICC for participating in the ICC events and host ICC events, subject to the proposal being approved in the ICC Board.”

Once India have control of the international cricket schedule, along with England and Australia, there is little doubt that no cricket will be allowed to be played during the IPL, therefore ensuring the newest, least gratifying format of the game takes centre-stage.

Fortunately for cricket fans and the players, there is still hope even if the ICC Board do the unthinkable and sell-out to India, England and Australia.

If the ICC act unconstitutionally, or even if their directors are deemed to have breached the code of conduct and failed in their fiduciary duties to act in the interests of the sport and not their own narrow agendas, then there are stakeholders willing to take the matter all the way to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Perhaps Cricket South Africa should send their independent lead director, Norman Arendse, a fiery, outspoken advocate, to shake things up at the ICC?

The governing body seems to have totally lost sight of the reason for their existence: which is to grow the game, not take it back 100 years.

And the point of the game is fair competition: the idea that India, England and Australia should be exempt from any possible Test relegation is laughable and goes against the very principles of fair play. The last five years suggest all three countries are being incredibly arrogant to presume they will remain strong on the playing field ad infinitum.

But then again the smugness currently coming out of England at their own cleverness in finding a devious way of returning to the top table of world cricket (never mind how shocking the on-field performance has been recently), bugger the rest of the world, suggests fair play is no longer the defining characteristic of cricket.

Englishmen dominant, but SA contingent eager to maintain Africa Open stranglehold 0

Posted on October 01, 2015 by Ken

It has been a summer season dominated by English golfers but it could change at the Africa Open that starts at East London Golf Club on Thursday with the South African contingent eager to maintain their stranglehold on the title.

The Africa Open started in 2008 and it has had a South African winner on every occasion – Shaun Norris, Retief Goosen, Louis Oosthuizen (twice), Charl Schwartzel, Darren Fichardt and Thomas Aiken – and, with locals winning just two of the last six co-sanctioned Sunshine Tour/European Tour events, it is a record they are eager to maintain in the Eastern Cape.

It has been Andy Sullivan who has struck the biggest blows to South African dominance at home as the Englishman has claimed back-to-back titles at the SA and Joburg Opens, and he is one of the favourites at East London Golf Club.

Sullivan is the highest-ranked golfer in the field at 58th in the world and victory in the Africa Open would lift him into the top-50, ahead of the cut-off for Masters qualification on April 2.

Full preview –

Northerns Cricket Union history 0

Posted on December 07, 2014 by Ken

Cricket may be the archetypal English sport, but there is a long history of it being played in Pretoria and one of the earliest mentions of the game in the city was in August 1874 when a Volksraad meeting was interrupted by Jim Nobel, President Burgers’ secretary, slogging a ball through the window of the chamber and narrowly missing the Speaker.

Those early Landvaders almost decided to ban cricket from the city square, but President Burgers and the attorney-general were both lovers of the game and the sport was given a reprieve.

Those pioneering Pretoria cricketers moved to a cattle compound on Widow Hoffman’s farm, in what is now Fountains Valley, in 1882 and their ground became known as Berea Park, where several Pretoria v Potchefstroom matches were held.

There was already a black cricket club playing in Elandsfontein, the Diggers, in 1898 and by 1937 there were more than 50 black clubs spread between Randfontein and Nigel.

Those were the days of the Transvaal Republic and the best cricketers from the Pretoria region would play for Transvaal, until 1937 when North-Eastern Transvaal was included in South African domestic cricket in its own right.

North-Eastern Transvaal’s first first-class match was played in December 1937, in the 25th edition of the Currie Cup, as they took on Western Province at Berea Park. Lennox Brown, who played in two Tests for South Africa in 1931/32, took five for 54 and William Lance, the father of Tiger, claimed three for 19 as the inexperienced home side limited the powerful Capetonians to just a 10-run first-innings lead.

Brown then top-scored with 42 in the North-Eastern Transvaal second innings, but the debutants ultimately went down by just three wickets.

North-Eastern Transvaal also often played in Benoni, at the same Willowmoore Park ground that has become a Titans stronghold in the present day, but they were considered a second division team and only played in the A Section of the Currie Cup again in 1960/61 and 1967/68.

In 1971, the North-Eastern Transvaal Cricket Union became the Northern Transvaal Cricket Union, and in 1979/80 they returned to the A Division.

But with all the socio-economic problems in South Africa and Berea Park now being nearly a hundred years old, Northerns cricket remained a hospital case and they needed a doctor to steer them into the bright future they now enjoy.

That doctor was chemical engineer Willie Basson and as chairman of the NTCU he began chasing what he would later describe as “a ridiculous dream” in 1981/82 when the search for a new home for the union began.

It was a momentous year on the field as well as the Northerns B side was entered into first-class competition for the first time, playing in the Bowl, and the senior team won for the first time in the A Section as they beat Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth under captain Norman Featherstone. English swing bowler Chris Old took eight wickets in the match and there were important 70s from Rodney Ontong and Vernon du Preez.

And in 1982, former Transvaal stars such as Lee Barnard and Noel Day arrived in Pretoria and would play vital roles in the rise of Northerns cricket. The other major acquisition was that of former New Zealand captain John Reid who was put in charge of the team and proved an inspirational figure working in tandem with captain Barnard.

The move to Centurion Park – the name was chosen after a Name The Ground Competition – happened from 1984/85 and it is the only cricket ground in the world to have given its name to the suburb that sprung up around it. The first match was played on November 15, 1986.

The 1980s was the decade when the rise of Northerns cricket really began and in 1984/85 they played in two of the three domestic finals. They beat Western Province for the first time in the Currie Cup semi-final, thanks to Mandy Yachad’s century and Eric Simons taking seven wickets and scoring a crucial 58.

The elusive first A Section trophy would only come in 1996/97 however, the same year the NTCU became the Northerns Cricket Union, when 59 years of waiting ended with Keith Medlycott and Mark Davis steering them to the Standard Bank League title, Mike Rindel breaking the record for the most number of runs in a season in the day/night competition and Rudi Bryson spearheading the attack.

Limited-overs cricket continued to be the main source of success for Northerns and the Titans franchise as they became known in 2004, with the team winning the 1998/99 Standard Bank League, the Pro20/T20 competition in 2004/05, 2007/08 and 2011/12, and the one-day competition in 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2013/14.

The Titans have won the four-day competition four times – in 2005/06, 2006/07, 2008/09 and 2011/12 .

The Northerns Cricket Union has become a place where the different language groups and races of South Africa pull together for the success of the team, and no franchise won more trophies than the Titans between 2004 and 2014.

This has obviously led to many players from the Pretoria region being selected for the national team and the likes of Dale Steyn, AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Morne Morkel and Paul Harris have been integral to the rise of the Proteas to the number one Test side.

Off the field, the calm, visionary leadership of people like Basson, Alan Jordaan, Richard Harrison, Brandon Foot, Vincent Sinovich, Elise Lombard, Jesse Chellan, and now Jacques Faul, Patricia Kambarami and John Wright has been crucial to the success of the Northerns and Titans teams.


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