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Ken Borland



Charlton & the semi-pro competitions: promoting excellence 0

Posted on June 14, 2017 by Ken

 

Mark Charlton has been promoted to high performance manager for the Titans, having won four trophies in the last three years with the Northerns team, and he says the rapid progress of players who have spent time in the amateur provincial competitions shows how important the second tier of domestic cricket is for the pipeline.

The Grahamstown product was understandably delighted with the recent news that Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat had said they were aiming to uplift the semi-professional level rather than create a seventh franchise.

“If you look at the senior provincial teams and what they do in the South African landscape, it’s a brilliant job. Guys like Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen spent four seasons with me at Northerns and then after one franchise season they’re on the verge of the national squad. A guy like Lungi Ngidi spent one-and-a-half seasons with me, one-and-a-half with the Titans and then made the national team. Tabraiz Shamsi is another guy who played a lot of semi-pro cricket, there are a lot of guys like that.

“The profile of that level needs to be lifted, the Africa Cup has been brilliant in that respect, we need to raise the level of their exposure. So it’s great news if CSA back that, because the second tier produces some really hard, tough cricket. We [Northerns] tested ourselves against Leicestershire recently, with just nine of our regular players and we beat them, plus we’ve beaten the whole Ireland team before. So the standard is pretty good and we do our job when it comes to producing players,” Charlton told The Citizen.

Charlton subscribes to the belief that good people make better sportsmen, and says a key part of Northerns’ success was ensuring the players were as honourable off the field as they were excellent on it.

“We tried five years ago to put the building blocks in place with a code of behaviour and ethics that was about how we were seen and how we saw ourselves. It was our core policy, about how we operate. The basis of the team was very young and inexperienced back then, but I felt they could be champions and they’ve showed it.

“Since that start five years ago, we’ve produced eight Titans players. My job was to look at young talent and take them to the next level. In terms of selection, I tried to stay as consistent as possible, to give guys opportunities to perform. We’re very lucky with players from the local universities and schools, there’s always a lot of quality coming through. Cobus Pienaar, Shershan Naidoo, Markram, Klaasen and captain Thomas Kaber have all been brilliant and I’ve just tried to keep players together and moving in the same direction,” Charlton said.

https://www.pressreader.com/south-africa/the-citizen-kzn/20170603/282089161734028

Picture looks rosy for Northerns women’s hockey 0

Posted on May 04, 2016 by Ken

 

The picture looks rosy for Northerns women’s hockey as their young side triumphed in the Senior Interprovincial Nationals at the weekend, showing impressive self-belief as they beat a star-studded, more experienced Southern Gauteng team in a shootout at the Randburg Hockey Stadium.

“We were definitely underdogs if you looked at the names on paper, Southern Gauteng are a powerhouse who have won many IPTs. But we took each game as it comes and we played very good hockey to get through the semi-finals. To beat North-West 4-0 was a very good performance and I was a bit concerned that we wouldn’t be able to reach that peak again.

“We were very nervous in the first half of the final, we showed our inexperience, but I knew if we could just keep them out then we could claw our way back. The players began to believe in themselves and put more pressure on. It was actually a blessing that we went 1-0 down because I told them ‘now we have to chase the game’.

“You can’t do all that work to get to the final and then just not play, so we began to pass the ball, be positive, and it felt like we shifted the momentum. We were winning more 50/50s, winning those one-on-one battles and we had more shots at goal,” coach Lindsay Wright told The Citizen.

“It’s very exciting and I believe it was some of the best hockey Northerns have ever played, the girls really stood up, which was wonderful. Northerns have tended to not play good hockey in the right moments, they tended to not get through semi-finals, although they were always recognised for their doggedness, their never-say-die attitude.

“We’re basically a university-based team, 90% of our players come through Tuks, so they’re all inexperienced and youthful and we rely heavily on the more experienced players. Tuks will attract more players and we have good schools, but we need to produce more locally-based players and keep them in the province, and then we will potentially build a powerhouse team,” Wright added.

Northerns are likely to lose KZN product Jacinta Jubb, their leading goalscorer, but it is certainly not doom and gloom for them. Player of the Tournament Celia Evans, in particular, is a phenomenal talent.

“Celia is one of the best players in the country right now and she is a real all-rounder, not just in terms of her hockey talent but in terms of what she gives to the team and her fellow players. She’s like Nicolene Terblanche and Kim Hubach, who have been there and done that and who constantly give to those who have less experience, which is the true sign of a very talented player,” Wright said.

Any champion side learns from their mistakes and Wright admitted that their failure to defend their title last year, when Southern Gauteng won the IPT, had been taken on board and thoroughly analysed.

Northens hockey is on the rise and the traditional powerhouses have been warned.

“The girls never gave up and their energy was fantastic. We took the lessons from last year and changed things round,” Wright said.

Black cricket in Titans area dates back to 19th century 0

Posted on January 01, 2015 by Ken

Black cricket was already being played in the Titans’ catchment area of Northerns and Easterns in the 19th century, with a record of a match between the Elandsfontein Diggers from Germiston and Doornfontein in 1898.

In 1932, Brakpan and Sub Nigel were playing in the first league for the Mangena Cup, while Brakpan East were in the second division. By 1937 there were more than 50 black clubs in the area between Randfontein and Nigel and the Transvaal Coloured Cricket Union featured a team from Pretoria – Brotherly United – as one of the six affiliates that competed for the Shahabodien Cup.

The 1940s saw the formation of the North-Eastern Transvaal African Board and they won the Transvaal Inter-Race Trophy in 1952/53 as well as their interprovincial tournament in 1953/54 and 1954/55. By then the North-Eastern Transvaal Bantu Cricket Union, the Eastern Transvaal Indian and Coloured Cricket Association, the Eastern Transvaal Indian Cricket Union and the Northern Transvaal Indian Cricket Union were all playing under the auspices of the Johannesburg Inter-Race Board.

If there was one person who epitomised the strength of black cricket in those days, it was Julius ‘Genius’ Mahanjana of North-Eastern Transvaal, who captained the national African team from 1955-1958. Born in Middledrift, in the heartland of Black African cricket in the Eastern Cape, he grew up at Modder B in Benoni, where his father worked. Julius excelled in all sports and his brothers Justin and Japhta also played for the national team.

The name Mahanjana actually entered into the local cricketing lexicon thanks to Japhtha ‘Super’ Mahanjana, who salvaged a famous draw for Natal against his brother Julius’s North-Eastern Transvaal side in the IPT in December 1956 in Port Elizabeth. Natal were set 245 to win in four hours, but a draw would deny North-Eastern Transvaal a place in the final and ‘Super’ Mahanjana opened the batting and batted through to secure the draw. He usually used to change to a long-handled bat once he was set at the crease, but on that occasion he stuck with the short handle to sum up his defiant mood. The saying Yi draw Mahanjana,“It is a Mahanjana draw”, comes from that day.

Their star contemporaries were batsman Eric Fihla and the fast bowling pair of Gidi and Mashinqana.

But the oppression of Apartheid and forced removals was starting to gather momentum and black cricket became isolated and fragmented. Places such as Hammanskraal, Mamelodi, Marabastad, Atteridgeville, Soshanguve and Eersterus would become the homes of the game in the black community.

The end of Apartheid and the unity process would bring cricketers from all those places back into the fold and the likes of Nqaba Matoti, Ernest Mokoenenyane and the Mokonyamas were the trailblazers who appeared in provincial cricket for Northerns in the 1990s.

 

Geopolitical boundaries likely to be used in SA cricket 0

Posted on December 13, 2014 by Ken

Residents of Gauteng have become accustomed to three different cricket unions – the Gauteng Cricket Board, Northerns Cricket Union and Easterns Cricket Union – controlling the game in the province, but this is likely to change as Cricket South Africa accede to Sascoc’s demand that the sport be administered along the same lines as the geopolitical boundaries of the country.

People in the Cape can expect the same change as Eastern Province, Border and Kei will need to merge into a single Eastern Cape controlling body, while Western Province, Boland and South-Western Districts will need to do the same in the Western Cape.

That change is along already-existing franchise lines, and KwaZulu-Natal, Free State and Northern Cape (Griqualand West team) will be in a similar position. But Gauteng will need to reorganise itself because there are two franchises – the Highveld Lions and Titans – based in that province.

CSA chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat confirmed that the change is in the offing, but added that they can still keep their same franchise and competition structure.

“That’s the next big thing we are planning, we might have to change the demarcations of our unions to mirror the geopolitical boundaries. But we can still have the same franchises and semi-professional teams and it won’t affect our competitions.

“But we’ll need to have nine controlling bodies from each of the provinces. So the Lions and Titans can still play and be run as separate teams, but they’ll need to have an overall Gauteng board above them,” Lorgat explained to The Citizen at the announcement of Momentum’s R475 000 backing of the academy at the University of Fort Hare in Alice.

Lorgat was critical of government’s support for grassroots development at that function but said the new geopolitically-aligned structure can improve the relationship between CSA and the state.

“It can be beneficial because then the unions can go to provincial government as one entity. I think it will help because then the provincial government is just dealing with one board. At the moment, the Titans, Lions and Easterns all go to the Gauteng provincial government for assistance and maybe they don’t know who to help?” Lorgat said.

At the moment, government expects CSA to fill their teams with previously disadvantaged players, but offers scant support in terms of the infrastructure that is essential to achieving that. Even the academy at Fort Hare, in the heartland of Black African cricket, has received nothing from the state.

“People think transformation is about black and white, but in my view Lance Klusener and Dale Steyn are both transformation products because they come from remote, rural areas. If it wasn’t for these programs, like our joint venture at the University of Fort Hare, then these jewels would not be found. We have not yet unlocked the potential in our country,” Lorgat said.

 

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    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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