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Ken Borland



Impossible for the ICC Awards to ignore AB 0

Posted on December 06, 2014 by Ken

AB de Villiers made it impossible for the International Cricket Council’s enumerators who decide on the nominees for their annual awards to ignore him and South Africa’s ODI captain was yesterday duly announced as one of four candidates for the ICC Cricketer of the Year award as well as being shortlisted in the individual one-day international category.

De Villiers will go up against Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson and Sri Lankan run-machines Angelo Mathews and Kumar Sangakkara for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy that goes to the best cricketer overall between August 26, 2013 and September 17, 2014.

Fellow South Africans Quinton de Kock and Dale Steyn, as well as Indian batting star Virat Kohli, will be his rivals for the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year award.

Hopefully the judges will also take into account the fact that De Villiers has been keeping wicket exceptionally well while starring with the bat. Scoring 932 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 54.80 and 963 runs in 20 ODIs at an average of over 60 is great work in anyone’s book.

The fiery Johnson enjoyed a phenomenal haul of 59 wickets from his eight Tests in the period under review, three of which were against world number ones South Africa, while Sangakkara gathered 1502 runs from 11 Tests, with four centuries, and Mathews, who took over the Sri Lankan captaincy from Mahela Jayawardene, averaged 92 in Tests and just under 54 in ODIs.

De Kock’s five centuries in ODIs during the qualifying period, including three in a row against India, made him a certainty for the ODI shortlist but how he was not named amongst the four for the Emerging Player of the Year award is a mystery. Instead Kiwis and Englishmen dominate that category, with Jimmy Neesham, Corey Anderson, Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes nominated.

Steyn ended the visits to the crease of 36 batsmen in 16 ODIs and had an economy rate of just 4.32 runs-per-over, and was selected to the ICC Test Team of the Year for a record seventh successive year, while the honour has gone to De Villiers for the fifth time.

De Kock has joined that duo in the ICC ODI XI of the year to give South Africa equal-most representation with India – captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Mohammad Shami.

Amazingly, Hashim Amla has failed to crack the nod for any ICC awards this year.

 

Smith confident SA can break their duck at World Cup 0

Posted on October 09, 2014 by Ken

The actual ICC Cricket World Cup is busy touring South Africa at the moment and nobody should need reminding that the number of Proteas’ titles in that prestigious competition stands at zero, least of all Graeme Smith.

But the former captain is confident that South Africa have the players to finally achieve that breakthrough triumph because many of the boxes required for glory have or will be ticked once the World Cup starts in Australia and New Zealand in mid-February.

“I was very blessed to go to three World Cups, but I’m very excited for this World Cup. The team is shaping up nicely and for the first time in a long time we’ll be playing in conditions that we actually like.

“There’s a great balance to the batting unit, the top five is really outstanding and can win games, they’re dynamic and can chase or set big scores.

“The bowling is attacking and can take wickets, which is very important with the current rules. There’s a really good feeling and buzz around the team and the core is there. AB de Villiers has had some great results, he’s pretty relaxed as a captain, I hear he’s doing a super job and the confidence will be good,” Smith said after a photoshoot with the World Cup trophy.

Amongst the issues that do concern Smith are the lengthy interludes between games.

“It’s a long tournament and there’s always a period when you seem to just sit around for two weeks. It helps though that it’ll be in Australia, previously we got caught with two weeks in Bangladesh [2011] and two weeks in Guyana [2007]. It’s important to stay fresh and in it mentally, and momentum is huge, you don’t want anything to stop that. You will also need to overcome the odd tough game, that’s when you need one or two players to pull you through,” Smith said.

There is consensus that South Africa’s death bowling is another issue and Smith said bowlers needed to prepare mentally for that challenge.

“Death bowling is always key and everyone in the seam attack must be able to contribute. Each player needs to grow mentally in that space, so you want them to have been there before, they need to be exposed to powerplays and death overs.

“if there’s reverse-swing, then going into the blockhole makes sense, but at places like the Wanderers, if you miss the yorker by one centimetre, you’re gone, plus guys lap so well now. It’s about how to block the field, give the batsman one and protect your over. Bowlers need to spend as much time as possible practising those thought processes, the tactics of death bowling,” Smith said.

The two-time World Cup captain’s final words for the 15 lucky men going to Australasia is to enjoy themselves.

“They should be excited as players, it’s a great occasion and all teams aspire to play in any World Cup. Only a select few have won it, especially since Australia dominated for a large period,” Smith said.

 

Lorgat delivers plenty of good news 0

Posted on March 17, 2014 by Ken

Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat was yesterday not only able to deliver the good news that he has been exonerated of all wrongdoing surrounding his alleged involvement in the media statement criticising ICC governance by their former legal advisor David Becker, but also news of on-going negotiations with Australia and England for more Test cricket against those countries.

The International Cricket Council yesterday announced that they could find no evidence linking Lorgat to Becker’s damning statement and also cleared him of allegedly trying to bribe or threaten journalists in an attempt to withdraw the story.

“Being exonerated is no surprise to me because I knew exactly what I had done and what I had not done, and I knew that I would not fail myself nor cricket in South Africa,” Lorgat said at the Wanderers yesterday.

“But I am gravely disappointed that I was found guilty in the media and a lot of things were said about me even before the investigation began.”

Not much seems capable of taking the former ICC chief executive by surprise and Lorgat also brushed off the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to not stage any of the IPL in South Africa while revealing the prospect of increased Tests against Australia and England.

“We weren’t surprised at all by the BCCI announcement, they want to play the tournament close to home. We were involved in discussions all along and we were informed of the decision before it went public. It made sense to have the first 16 games in the UAE, if they needed longer outside India then maybe we would have featured,” Lorgat said.

“But we never had any plans for the IPL in the financial forecasts. It would have been a windfall, but it’s something we hadn’t bargained for.”

With Lorgat and CSA having a well-publicised falling out with the BCCI last year and India, Australia and England staging a virtual coup to take control of the ICC, the fears that South African cricket would be sidelined don’t seem to be materialising.

Lorgat revealed the success of preliminary negotiations with other boards that would see more Test cricket being played in South Africa.

“We are very keen to play four-Test series against Australia and we’ve gone some way to agreeing to that, although it’s dependent on the calendar. And we are talking to England and have agreed in principle to play a five-Test series in 2015/16. So we’ve already achieved a lot working together since the original ICC proposal, which has already been changed considerably,” Lorgat said.

 

Exonerated Lorgat objects to media treatment 0

Posted on March 14, 2014 by Ken

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Haroon Lorgat said on Thursday that he objected to sections of the media finding him guilty without trial after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that they had exonerated him of any wrongdoing surrounding the media statement criticising ICC governance made last October by their former legal advisor David Becker.

An independent adjudicator commissioned by the ICC cleared Lorgat of knowing about the Becker media statement and its contents prior to its initial distribution; of being

involved in the preparation of the statement; or of attempting to persuade a number of different journalists to delay or withdraw the Becker story by offering to do something for them in return, allegedly bribing and eventually threatening the journalists.

“Being exonerated is no surprise to me because I knew exactly what I had done and what I had not done, and I knew that I would not fail myself nor cricket in South Africa,” Lorgat told a news conference at the Wanderers on Thursday.

“But I am gravely disappointed that I was found guilty in the media and I seriously expect an apology and then we can move on. A lot of things were said about me even before the investigation began.

“It’s an opportunity for the media to reflect on how fairly and accurately they have done their job. I call on the media to report fairly on Cricket South Africa, some people just use a sledgehammer and it brings their own organisations into disrepute. The media ought to be accountable for what they write, just like I am accountable for what I do,” Lorgat continued.

While Lorgat did not want to ascribe the investigation to the machinations surrounding the so-called takeover of the ICC by the ‘Big Three’, he confirmed that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had been one of the parties that offered to drop the charges during the debate over the changes in the structure of world cricket’s governing body.

“The CSA president, Chris Nenzani, was involved in those talks and he has confirmed that offers to drop the investigation were made at the time of the ICC revamp discussions. We made it very clear though that there would be no deals, but it showed that the BCCI and many other board members had already moved on because they knew what the outcome of the investigation would be. Thankfully we continued with it, however, because now my name has been cleared,” Lorgat said.

Lorgat is now free to involve himself fully in all ICC business and dealings with the BCCI, but he said his suspension from these activities had not particularly affected CSA.

“I don’t believe that it affected South African cricket to a great extent. I was involved in many discussions on the sidelines and I missed just one chief executives’ meeting, but I was in Dubai at the time and was discussing all the issues outside the meeting,” Lorgat said.

Nenzani said in the CSA statement released earlier on Thursday that the board had maintained the utmost confidence in Lorgat throughout the investigation.

“As we expected, all the allegations have been dismissed and the board would like to reiterate its full trust and confidence in Mr. Lorgat as its chief executive. To date the board has been satisfied and indeed impressed with the progress made under his leadership.

“It is also clear that allegations and insinuations made against Mr. Lorgat by certain journalists were unprofessional and do not fall within the bounds of fair or justifiable comment. I hope these individuals or their organisations will now have the courage to issue an apology to both Mr. Lorgat and CSA,” Nenzani said.

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  • Thought of the Day

    1 Corinthians 3:3 - "For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?"

    One of my favourite U2 songs is a collaboration with Johnny Cash called The Wanderer, and it features the line "they say they want the kingdom, but they don't want God in it".
    Many people say they believe in God, but they don't experience his loving presence. They may be active in Christian work, but only if they have their way. If they cannot be leaders, they refuse to be involved.
    Because they refuse to allow God to fill their lives with his love, they remain weak and powerless.
    Spiritual maturity means developing a greater love for others.

    "When the love of Christ saturates you, immature attitudes such as pettiness, jealousy and strife are dissolved.
    "It is only when you have an intimate relationship with the Lord that you receive sufficient grace to rise above this immaturity and enjoy the solid food that the Holy Spirit gives you." - Solly Ozrovech, A Shelter From The Storm



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