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Ken Borland



CSA & anti-corruption unit have been methodical & efficient 0

Posted on December 26, 2016 by Ken

 

Cricket South Africa and the chairman of their anti-corruption unit, former Judge President Bernard Ngoepe, need to be congratulated for the methodical and efficient manner in which they have dealt with the attempts to fix matches during last season’s T20 competition, resulting this week in Alviro Petersen joining ringleader Gulam Bodi and Jean Symes, Pumelela Matshikwe, Ethy Mbhalati and Thami Tsolekile as players who have received bans.

Petersen accepted a ban of two years this week and his was the most complex of the cases, the former Proteas batsman being both whistleblower and conspirator, both helpful and obstructive to the investigators.

That half-a-dozen players have now successfully been prosecuted – with just one more high-profile name believed to be on the radar – points to the systematic, detailed work of Ngoepe’s anti-corruption unit. There had been pressure on them early on in the investigations to speed up the process and some of the guilty were also politically-sensitive figures, but they ensured they followed due process every step of the way, even if it meant there was no news for a baying public for periods of time.

The acquittal of former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns on matchfixing charges last November really upped the ante in terms of the evidence required by cricket administrators looking to pursue successful prosecutions of those involved in corruption and CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat and Ngoepe and his staff have handled the latest South African case with the delicacy and precision of a surgeon.

While Petersen claims he raised the alarm about the nefarious activities Bodi was putting into play, the investigators always had questions about the 36-year-old’s continued involvement in the scheme. Did he pull out because he wasn’t going to get enough money out of the scam?

Petersen was implicated by the evidence of his co-accused as well as his actions in destroying key evidence, believed to be his cellphone records, and has basically been found guilty of that and of not immediately reporting the suspicious activities. Perhaps by trying to be the hero and bypassing the rules which all cricketers should know, he has probably ended his professional career.

It is fair to say Petersen is not well-liked by most of his team-mates, I have heard him referred to as “Lord Voldemort”, and, probably due to a really tough upbringing in the Port Elizabeth township of Gelvandale, he is a bristly, difficult character, always on the defensive.

Coming from a really poor background, perhaps the drive to make “easy” money was too strong; or perhaps his desire to be the hero and singlehandedly destroy Bodi’s matchfixing ring turned into hubris.

Perhaps he is guilty of merely showing poor judgement, something all of us suffer from at times, but he has paid a terrible price in his name being tarnished and losing two of his twilight years as a player, particularly in English county cricket, where he has been a prolific and highly-valued run-scorer for Lancashire.

But that’s the penalty under a system that rightly operates under a zero tolerance principle and no professional cricketer can claim that they are uneducated about the anti-corruption measures.

Petersen’s punishment is par for the course for what he did and thankfully he has accepted it without the need for protracted hearings and appeals. This frees up the anti-corruption unit to now zoom in on a former international pace bowler with especially strong political connections.

Perhaps they have left the toughest case to last.

Kallis typically asked himself the tough questions 0

Posted on August 05, 2014 by Ken

It was typical of the methodical, clinical way in which he approached his record-breaking career that Jacques Kallis asked himself the difficult questions about his future in international cricket and came up with the tough, honest and correct answers that pointed to the full retirement he announced yesterday.

Having announced his retirement from the Test arena in December, Kallis had continued to make himself available for the Proteas’ one-day international team, his sights set on playing in the World Cup – a tournament in which he has suffered much anguish – early next year.

But a poor time in Sri Lanka this month made him question whether he still had it in him, in his 39th year and 19th season of international cricket, to maintain the high standards required to earn a place in the side.

The runs have not been as prolific in recent times, he was unable to bowl in Sri Lanka due to niggling injuries, and perhaps the intense mental focus needed to excel in international cricket was no longer there either.

The end of a career as amazing as that of Jacques Kallis is always a sad occasion, but the right decision has been made. The World Cup was increasingly looking a bridge too far and the legacy of statistically the greatest all-round record the game has known will remain intact.

The South African team is now well and truly entering the new era with the leading figures of the last decade – Kallis, Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini – all retired. But the team culture, strength of character and technical excellence that Kallis so hugely contributed to during his 166 Tests and 328 ODIs will live on in the exploits of such world-class successors as Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.

Kallis might not be there at the MCG on March 29 if South Africa finally lift the World Cup, but the team will no doubt ascribe plenty of the credit to his immense influence that went far beyond the phenomenal number of runs, wickets and catches he provided.

 

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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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