for quality writing

Ken Borland

Faf says the ball-tampering saga showed the unity in the Proteas squad 0

Posted on December 04, 2016 by Ken


Triumphant Proteas captain Faf du Plessis returned to Johannesburg on Tuesday and described the whole ball-tampering saga as a ploy by the Australian media to disrupt the South African team, but said the farce had served as a powerful indicator of the unity within the squad.

A video of Du Plessis doing two entirely legal things at once – sucking a mint and using his saliva to shine the ball – went viral in Australia between the second and third Tests, leading to the International Cricket Council charging the captain with ball-tampering and later finding him guilty and fining him his entire match fee from the Hobart game, during which South Africa won the series.

“The Australian media used it as a ploy to derail us, they speak of themselves as the Australian team’s 12th man. The challenge was to fight back and it was remarkable the way the team fought the battle so firmly for me, it shows where we are as a team in terms of our strong culture.

“At first we didn’t think it was anything really serious, but the media made it a big issue until nobody could control it. It was very disappointing the way it turned out, but my character was tested and against all odds I was able to make a play, it showed I can withstand those tests,” Du Plessis, who made a century in the third Test, said.

Team manager Mohammed Moosajee said they will be arranging a date for the appeal hearing, at which Du Plessis will have his own legal representation from South Africa, with the ICC and it should be set by the end of this week.

Moosajee also revealed that Cricket South Africa had laid an official complaint with their Australian counterparts and broadcasters Channel 9 had apologised for the behaviour of their aggressive reporter who sparked a scuffle at Adelaide Airport.

While admitting that captaincy brought out the best in him, Du Plessis reiterated that he sees himself as the stand-in skipper for AB de Villiers, who is set to return for the Sri Lanka series next month.

“I’ve always enjoyed it, I feel it does bring out the best in me, but AB knows that I am 100% behind him. I’ve learnt a lot about myself as a leader and the great thing is that the team has three guys – myself, Hashim Amla and AB – who have been captains and we are all very similar in the way we want the culture of the team to move forward,” Du Plessis said.

South Africa are still only fifth in the Test rankings, however, with Australia third.

“Going up the rankings is a goal of ours but it won’t just happen, we need to take really small steps to get back to number one. But all the signs are there that we can get back there; Sri Lanka are a good team, they’re playing well, but if we beat them then I reckon we’ll be close to number two,” Du Plessis said.

Bulls & Lions get their waggle on 0

Posted on August 03, 2016 by Ken


Social media was overflowing with praise for the Hurricanes and the Crusaders after their enthralling match in Wellington on Saturday morning, but the Bulls and Lions showed that evening at Loftus Versfeld that South African sides can also put on a show and both Victor Matfield and Johan Ackermann were waggling their metaphorical fingers at all the prophets of doom over the strength of local rugby.

The Bulls edged out the Lions 35-33 in a scintillating match in which seven tries were scored, several of them dazzling efforts using the width of the field and featuring superb offloading skills and vision.

“I saw the Hurricanes play the Crusaders this morning and I thought ‘what a great game’. But people must have enjoyed this game too, there was a lot of width and ball-in-hand rugby. New players are standing up in South African rugby and I’m sure the senior guys will start hitting their best form too towards the end of Super Rugby,” Bulls captain Matfield said after the win which returned his side to the top of the South African Conference.

“I think we have a different physicality when it comes to the rucks and scrums here in South Africa, whereas it’s more of a free-for-all when they play each other in New Zealand. They have a different mindset over there, the defences aren’t so tight. I still believe the best South African players compare to theirs and especially when you put them in a Springbok jersey,” Lions coach Ackermann said.

The Bulls started the game in exhilarating fashion playing the sort of rugby usually associated with the free-spirited Lions and coach Frans Ludeke said he was delighted with the first half, which ended with the home side 25-13 up.

“The first half was almost perfect and we had those attacking shapes Victor’s been chasing, we were accurate and really put them on the back foot. Getting momentum on the gain-line really helped and Victor has worked really hard on keeping the players on their feet and making good decisions,” Ludeke said.

But the Lions totally dominated the third quarter to snatch a 26-25 lead in the 54th minute and Matfield said the pressure was then really on his side.

“We started well, playing the way we wanted to – with width, but after the break we made mistakes and that put us under pressure. We showed great character to fight back and get the momentum back and I was very happy about the team’s will to win,” the veteran lock said.

Matfield mentioned “needing magic from someone” to get the Bulls out of their hole and that someone was replacement Pierre Spies, who sparked the move that ended with him powering through several tackles to score and regain the lead.

Ackermann bemoaned mistakes that cost his team but was pleased with their overall performance and contribution to a great game of rugby.

“All I ask is for them to play with their hearts and they did. I’m willing to lose if the passion and commitment are there and credit to the Bulls, especially for that first half. They punished every mistake we made,” Ackermann 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.

Goosen provides good golf, wine 0

Posted on January 22, 2012 by Ken

by Ken Borland 21 January 2012, 18:51


Retief Goosen kept the media happy on Saturday as he catered wonderfully to our two great loves for good wine and quality golf.

Goosen invited the media to his Upper Langkloof Valley wine farm, which is on the way to Uniondale from George, to sample some of his terrific Goose and Gander wines, as well as hit some drives off an elevated tee towards a dam.

Having been treated to delicious tastes of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon blend, Shiraz and port, the media then returned to the Fancourt Links to watch Goosen make his way around the course in three-under-par 70, one of the best rounds on a blustery, rainy day.

We were most impressed by the rich complexities and elegant finish of his wines – thanks to the unique climate of the Upper Langkloof, the grapes ripen much later than elsewhere in the Cape and the annual average temperature is only 17 degrees – but Goosen himself was extremely irritated by his finish on the golf course on Saturday.

The two-time major champion finished par-bogey-par to end the third round on nine-under, just one shot behind leaders Branden Grace and Nicolas Colsaerts.

“It was a very poor finish. The last three holes were as easy as we’ll ever see it here, they were straight downwind, so to be one-over on them feels like making three bogeys.

“The last three holes should really be played in under-par, but I failed to get up-and-down from a bunker on 16, chose the wrong club on 17 and then hit a poor second on 18,” Goosen said.

The closing holes aside, The Goose was satisfied with his position heading into the final round.

“The first six or seven holes were really tough today, but I played nice and solid. On some holes today, par was a very good score,” Goosen said.

The bottles of Goose Sauvignon Blanc, Goose Expression, Gander Shiraz and Quinto do Sul Port we sampled were also very good and the future seems bright for Goosen the winemaker if the golfing lark doesn’t pay the bills!

↑ Top