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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.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2014-01-23-cricket-the-mystery-of-the-lorgat-witch-hunt-unravelled/#.Wh6eSFWWbIU

Sharks confirm worst-kept secret of Bok trio’s departure 0

Posted on November 24, 2016 by Ken

 

The Sharks have finally confirmed one of their worst-kept secrets and announced that Saturday’s SuperRugby match against the Stormers in Durban will be the last in Black and White for the Springbok trio of Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis and Willem Alberts.

As reported in The Citizen on May 19, the Sharks have been unable to hang on to the trio of hard men, who will all be heading for the riches of France after the World Cup. Loose forward Alberts is heading to Stade Francais, while the Du Plessis brothers will be going to Montpellier for a potentially awkward reunion with Jake White.

Hooker Bismarck du Plessis has been at the Sharks for 11 years and is their most-capped Super Rugby player, due to finish on 130 appearances after the Stormers game. Jannie joined the Sharks in 2008 and has 117 Super Rugby caps for the KwaZulu-Natalians, while Alberts arrived in Durban from the Lions in 2010 and made 72 appearances.

Chief executive John Smit told the Sharks website that it had been a privilege to have the trio in Durban.

“These three gents have played an instrumental and invaluable role at the Sharks over the years. It is naturally disappointing to lose players of this calibre that have given so much to Sharks rugby. As in many senior statesmen’s careers, they felt the time was right to experience something different abroad.

“We will never forget the many courageous performances from these three players, the countless outstanding performances and steals from Bissy, the rock-solid anchor at tighthead in Jannie and the enforcer in Willem. Not to mention Jannie playing the victorious Currie Cup final in 2013 with a broken hand.

“On behalf of the Sharks, I take this opportunity to thank them for their dedication, commitment and outstanding contribution to the franchise. We wish them and their families the very best for this new chapter they are embarking on,” Smit said.

Waratahs powerhouse Jacques Potgieter and newly-signed former Cheetahs and Biarritz loose forward Philip van der Walt will fill in for Alberts, but at the moment the Du Plessis brothers will have to be replaced by home-grown talent.

 

 

Glendower confirmed as SA Open hosts for 3rd straight time 0

Posted on September 29, 2015 by Ken

 

The wait to see which of the country’s major golf courses will host the 2015/16 South African Open is finally over with Glendower Golf Club in Edenvale confirmed as the hosts for the third successive time and sixth time overall.

At this stage, the 105th SA Open will be held in the same calendar slot as the 2014/2015 event, from January 7-10, with Johannesburg’s other co-sanctioned Sunshine/European Tour event, the Joburg Open, taking place the following week (January 14-17), which will not only encourage overseas golfers to play in both tournaments but also cut the costs for the Sunshine Tour.

“There’s a need for back-to-back tournaments because it’s not fair on the European golfers to make them travel back and forth to South Africa. It also means we save money on costs, which is important as well,” Duncan Cruickshank, the marketing and communications director of the Sunshine Tour, told The Citizen.

There had been strong speculation that Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth, which has hosted the SA Open on five previous occasions, would be the venue for this summer’s prestigious event but the financial muscle of Gauteng has perhaps won the day.

Even though hosting the SA Open is of enormous value in terms of worldwide television coverage – Cruickshank said the exposure gained for the tourism industry by the tournament in January was worth more than a billion rand – sponsors are still needed over and above the huge investment made by municipalities and local government.

It is believed that the Africa Open at East London Golf Club is in some doubt due to a lack of sponsors, but it would be very sad if the Eastern Cape – and the coastal region as a whole – did not host a single co-sanctioned event.

Cruickshank confirmed that the Alfred Dunhill Championship would kick off the Summer Tour at Leopard Creek in Malelane from November 26-29, with the Nedbank Golf Challenge following immediately afterwards at Sun City from December 3-6.

The SA Open and Joburg Open are then on successive weekends in January, with the Africa and Tshwane Opens scheduled to go back-to-back in early March.

It was also confirmed on Tuesday that the 2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, the only tri-sanctioned tournament endorsed by the European, Sunshine and Asian Tours, will be held from May 12-15, 2016, at the Four Seasons Golf Club Mauritius at Anahita.

 

Fortune favours relentless Bulls in first win 0

Posted on September 17, 2015 by Ken

 

The Bulls fought relentlessly for their first win of the Vodacom SuperRugby campaign and, with some good fortune finally going their way, it came with a thrilling 43-35 triumph over the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night.

It was a much better performance by the Bulls, who made far fewer errors than on the opening two weekends, and had more fluidity on attack thanks to Rudi Paige starting at scrumhalf. This time they turned their pressure into points, mostly through the metronomic boot of flyhalf Handre Pollard, who piled on four penalties and three conversions in a faultless display before he left the field with cramp in the final quarter.

The Bulls just kept the scoreboard ticking over and led 33-22 on the hour mark thanks to Pollard’s last kick, before the Sharks pushed them all the way in a determined comeback.

Paige, so influential as a link man with his quick, clean service, tried a box-kick from the kickoff after Pollard’s penalty and his opposite number, Cobus Reinach, as alert an opportunist as you can get, charged down the kick and raced away to score a try that brought the Sharks strongly back into the game. As a tactic, the box-kick was debatable with Pollard behind him and the Bulls having carried the ball to much better effect up till then.

But Paige’s technique was also lamentable, with the scrumhalf stepping sideways from the base of the ruck to kick and not backwards, and there were no pillars shielding him, allowing Reinach to charge him down.

The Bulls began to falter under the pressure and, as silly errors crept in, the Sharks took the lead for the first time in the 72nd minute through two Pat Lambie penalties.

It was starting to look as if the Bulls, for all their endeavour, were going to lose their third successive home game and it was definitely not good news for them when Paige and Pollard went off with cramp.

But it was Pollard’s replacement, Tian Schoeman, who made a crucial play in the 75th minute when he kicked an angled, pressure penalty six metres from touch after the Sharks had entered a ruck from the side.

It was heartening to see the Bulls fight back, but it was a surprise when they won another penalty in the final minute and opted instead to kick for touch and try and chase the bonus point try.

Their positive attitude was rewarded however, even though the Sharks stole the lineout, as, trying to run from their own 22, the visitors knocked on and centre Jan Serfontein showed enormous strength to gather and force his way over the tryline.

The try was awarded by TMO Johan Greeff and it was mildly controversial. An earlier decision by him to award the Bulls a try was frankly disgraceful and it is high time this serial offender when it comes to poor decisions is retired.

The awful decision came in the 25th minute and up till then Pollard and Lambie had traded penalties for the Bulls to lead 9-6.

Fullback Jesse Kriel had sparked a counter-attack off turnover ball for the Bulls but he then threw a blatantly forward pass to Hougaard, who showed good pace and a nifty step inside, to dot down. It was referred to TMO Greeff who inexplicably gave the try, apparently saying that the replays he had were inconclusive!

Pollard converted and the Bulls had a 10-point lead, but it did not last long as Lambie kicked another penalty and then flank Renaldo Bothma, who had a strong game with ball-in-hand for the Sharks, charged through after claiming a kick-off, gave a lovely backhand offload to fullback SP Marais, who sped down the right before the ball went infield to eighthman Ryan Kankowski, who raced away for the try.

The Bulls had the final say before half-time, however, as they grabbed their second try.

Handling errors and wrong options had prevented them from turning pressure into points in their previous two games, but on Saturday night they were slick, patient and clever on attack.

A period of strong driving play and concerted pressure softened the Sharks defence before eventually the hole opened for the Bulls and Paige read the situation brilliantly to provide the perfect pass for flank Deon Stegmann to storm through.

The Bulls led 23-16 at the break and, although Lambie narrowed the lead to 23-19 early in the second half with another penalty, the next try also went to the home side.

Another patient, slick build-up in the Sharks’ 22 ended with Pierre Spies galloping around the ruck at the perfect moment for the perfectly-timed pass by Paige and the Bulls captain charged over for the try in what was a fine all-round game for the eighthman. The big star for the Bulls amongst the forwards, however, was flank Lappies Labuschagne, a tireless and powerful defender and ball-carrier.

Pollard’s conversion put the Bulls 30-19 ahead, but with Lambie also succeeding with every kick at goal and the Sharks certainly up for the fight, there was still plenty of hard work ahead for the Bulls.

That they managed to pull off the win, with a bonus point while denying the Sharks one, will be a massive confidence boost for the beleaguered three-time champions.

Scorers

Bulls: Tries – Francois Hougaard, Deon Stegmann, Pierre Spies, Jan Serfontein. Conversions – Handre Pollard (3), Tian Schoeman. Penalties – Pollard (4), Schoeman.

Sharks: Tries – Ryan Kankowski, Cobus Reinach. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2). Penalties – Lambie (7).

 

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