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Ken Borland

Cosmopolitan mix of owners for new T20 Global League 0

Posted on July 05, 2017 by Ken


The new T20 Global League to be held in South Africa at the end of the year will have the most cosmopolitan feel of any of the T20 tournaments around the world as team owners from five different countries were unveiled at a function in an upmarket Knightsbridge hotel in London on Monday.

Cricket South Africa’s desire for the bulk of the franchises to be locally-owned has played second fiddle to the rewards of big overseas investment, with the eight team owners coming from Pakistan (2), India (2), Hong Kong and Dubai. The two teams based in Pretoria and Stellenbosch will have South African owners.

“It’s really important that there is local investment from a South African point of view, but the foreign interest means we’ll be playing in front of much bigger audiences. It places a much bigger emphasis on South African cricket, especially for our domestic players. It should keep most of our players in the country now because the T20 Global League provides a huge step forward in terms of opportunity and financially,” Proteas captain Faf du Plessis, who will be playing for the Stellenbosch franchise, said at the launch.

There are drawbacks, however, that come with the overseas investment, with the foreign team-owners having no real answer to questions about transformation imperatives.

Both the Pakistani team owners – their teams will be based in Durban and Benoni – spoke about T20 cricket being the answer to the problems besetting their game. Even though Pakistan’s memorable Champions Trophy triumph at the weekend had London’s large cricket fanbase abuzz, their game is still faced with the problems of not being able to host any games due to security concerns.

The Pakistan Super League has attracted some overseas players back and both Fawad Rana (Durban) and Javed Afridi (Benoni) spoke about their involvement in the T20 Global League improving the image of cricket in their troubled country.

A moving farewell for a Titan of the game 0

Posted on November 09, 2015 by Ken


The Titans recently took leave of one of their most inspirational players when they held a farewell function for batsman Jacques Rudolph, who has ended his South African career in order to focus on his commitments as captain of Glamorgan.

Rudolph, a compact left-hander whose 49 first-class centuries show his ability perhaps better than his Test average of 35, gave a moving address in which he was often in tears and which showed why he was one of the most popular players on the domestic circuit.

“One can dedicate one’s life to an institution and walk away with only a handshake, so this is a great evening to end a great journey,” Rudolph said. “The agreement is that next October I will be sitting on the grass embankment with my son, who will hopefully be starting to walk, and hear Loslappie [the Titans’ team song] roaring out from the changeroom.”

The 34-year-old tried his hand at international cricket with decent success, scoring six Test centuries and 11 fifties in 48 Tests, as well as averaging 35 in 45 ODIs, but what happened at the very start of his career with the national team, when he was pulled from the team by then UCB president Percy Sonn on the eve of his debut Test, probably did not help the confidence of a 21-year-old as he was back then in Sydney.

“There’s a strong perception that my career was marred by politics, what with the interference in selection in 2001/02, but I’m thankful for that because it gave me resilience and perseverance, it enabled me to overcome any adversity. I have no regrets, it only made me stronger,” Rudolph said with typical magnanimity.

He was indeed able to handle any attack on his day, but he has also made a massive difference off the field at Centurion.

“The stats only tell half the story. He’s one of the nicest okes to work with and there are so many people he’s touched while he’s been here. Junior players come to me and say what an inspiration he’s been. Scoring 20 000 runs is one thing, but he’s also provided a much-needed lift in the changeroom,” Titans CEO Jacques Faul said.

The inspiration continued in his parting words as Rudolph gave some worthy advice to the young cricketers present.

“Arrogance comes before a fall. I remember when I was 21 and I had just scored a double-century for South Africa and I came back to the Titans. Gerald Dros had to call me aside and tell me that I needed to come down a peg or two before I had become arrogant. That was life-changing.

“You won’t succeed if you are arrogant. The All Blacks are a great example, they beat a lot of teams but they are very humble and always spend time with the opposition. Make friends and learn from them, treat people with dignity and respect, South Africa creates a certain environment, but we need to break barriers and reach out.

“You can’t start soon enough to save money because before you know it, your career can be taken away. I learnt too late sadly about financial discipline because life is expensive.

“Teams win championships and not individuals – individuals win you games. And your identity musn’t be linked to how you perform or your abilities. The best batsmen only reach fifty once in every three innings, so you fail a lot more than you succeed in this game. Don’t link your value as a person to how you perform or what people think of you,” Rudolph said.

The applause should ring out for Jacques Rudolph for all the pleasure he gave local cricket fans and the contribution he made to South African cricket.


Illogical playing conditions & inflexible officials mar 2nd day in Benoni 0

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Ken

Cricket so often errs by failing to fulfil its primary function of entertainment due to illogical playing conditions and inflexible officials, and the second day of the Sunfoil Series match between the Unlimited Titans and the bizhub Highveld Lions at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Friday provided another example of that.

With the sun shining brightly, the umpires took the reluctant players off the field at 5.30pm, the usual time for close of play, despite the fact that nearly three hours of play had been washed out by heavy thundershowers in the early afternoon.

So there was no effort to extend the hours of play by half-an-hour, the reason given to the players being that the allotted overs for the day had been bowled. Which doesn’t make sense because only 64 overs were actually bowled on the second day.

The Titans had moved to 27 without loss in the six overs they had to face before stumps, Jacques Rudolph showing that he is not ready to be pensioned off just yet as he cruised to 18 not out with four fours. Heino Kuhn was with him on seven not out.

Geoff Toyana is a coach who prefers to err on the side of positivity and the Lions had declared at 4.50pm on 485 for seven declared, thinking that they would get a good hour to bowl at the Titans, before the early close left them bemused and frustrated.

They managed to post that score thanks to the efforts of Dwaine Pretorius and Dale Deeb, who added 137 for the seventh wicket in 140 minutes and 239 balls, and regained control for the Lions after the Titans had struck hard with the second new ball.

Captain Stephen Cook and Neil McKenzie had resumed on 264 for two and quickly rattled up a fifty partnership off just 54 balls, but then JP de Villiers, bowling at good pace and enjoying some movement, took three wickets in five deliveries as the Lions crashed from 311 for two to 313 for six.

McKenzie was the first to go, playing around a straight ball from De Villiers and being trapped lbw for 47, and the 25-year-old seamer then dismissed Gulam Bodi (1) and Thami Tsolekile (0) with successive deliveries in his next over.

Cook, elegant on the drive but measured in all his strokeplay, had chugged along to 122 in 379 minutes, off 241 balls, when he flicked at a leg-side delivery from left-arm paceman Rowan Richards and wicketkeeper Mangaliso Mosehle flung himself far to his left to take a superb catch.

Pretorius and Deeb batted with admirable good sense though, but neither did they allow any scoring opportunity to pass, and by lunch they had brought up their fifty partnership off 65 balls.

One can probably put money on Pretorius being named the Lions’ most improved cricketer at the end of this season and his plucky 67 took his batting average to 39, to go with a bowling average of 15. He fell, however, in the 10th over after the rain delay as he forgot the rule that you can’t cut left-arm spinner Roelof van der Merwe off the stumps and was bowled by the arm-ball.

Deeb added some more quick runs, finishing with a well-struck 89 not out, including seven fours and a six, before the Lions declared in order to try and buy themselves some time to push for victory on a flat pitch.

De Villiers was the most impressive of the Titans bowlers, with three for 75 in 18 overs. Richards also claimed three wickets, but his control was disappointing as he conceded 118 runs in 26 overs.

If the Titans manage to bat for most of Saturday’s third day, then you can’t see any other result than a draw at Willowmoore Park, despite their improved drainage.

*Batsmen were not loving the conditions on a rain-interrupted day at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth, with the Nashua Cape Cobras struggling on 137 for seven in reply to the Chevrolet Warriors’ 203 all out.

The Warriors’ opening bowlers – Andrew Birch and Basheer Walters – had done most of the damage with two wickets each, and the defending champions lost the mainstay of their innings, opener Omphile Ramela, in the last over of the day.

Ramela had defied the bowlers for 229 minutes and 146 balls in scoring 45, before Walters had him caught in the slips.

The run out of Yaseen Vallie (6) saw the Cobras plunge to 35 for three, before the middle-order rallied. But the Warriors kept chipping away and the wickets of Dane Vilas (15), Sybrand Engelbrecht (26) and Justin Kemp (19) were the reward.

*Cody Chetty stood tall in Kimberley as his century put the Sunfoil Dolphins in a commanding position against the Chevrolet Knights.

Chetty scored 101 not out, sharing in a fifth-wicket partnership of 97 with Khaya Zondo (51), to steer the Dolphins from their overnight score of 251 for four to 452 all out.

The Knights found batting a stiff ask against a fired-up, new-look Dolphins pace attack, struggling to 128 for four at stumps.

Openers Lefa Mosena (46) and Gerhardt Abrahams (34) seemed to be reading the conditions well as they added 61 for the first wicket, but Abrahams was caught behind off Graham Hume and Mosena was caught in the slips off Mathew Pillans.

Fast bowler Daryn Dupavillon then rushed through Diego Rosier (20) and Malusi Siboto (0) in successive balls to put the Dolphins firmly on top.

Off-spinner Patrick Botha is the one Knights player who can feel bullish about his efforts, the 24-year-old patiently whirling away for 28.5 overs and picking up a career-best seven for 89 to start the new year in great fashion.

Quinton Friend may be 32-years-old, but he is still quite a handful, the paceman taking three for 58 in 28 overs.

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