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Ken Borland

Jake has a little grouse: SA Rugby should remove the cap 0

Posted on May 23, 2023 by Ken

Bulls director of rugby Jake White has always been an outspoken commentator on the affairs of the game and he had a little grouse this week at what he sees as an unfair advantage for the European teams he is now competing against in the Champions Cup.

If White were not such a shrewd practitioner of mind games, a master of motivating his players, often saying one thing in public and telling his team the opposite, his comments about South African teams not being able to win the Champions Cup could be seen as really defeatist talk.

White justified his decision to send his second-stringers to England to take on Premiership big guns Exeter Chiefs on Saturday by pointing out that next Friday night, they have a crucial United Rugby Championship match against the Stormers in Cape Town and the travel arrangements made it well-nigh impossible for him to field his best XV in both matches.

White said: “I would like to do well in both competitions, but I am a realist. To win the Champions Cup, on three consecutive weekends you have to beat teams like Toulouse, Leicester Tigers and La Rochelle.

“Do we have the squads in South Africa that can do that away from home, because of the participation agreement? If you believe we do then you are either disconnected from reality or you believe our teams are going to get very lucky.”

The well-travelled World Cup winning coach said the biggest cause of an uneven playing field is the massive financial resources available to the European clubs. According to White, the French and English clubs have budget of around R180 million to pay their players, while SA Rugby has put a cap on our teams’ spending, at only R70 million.

Okay we can accept that the European clubs will always be richer than our teams simply because of the effect our decidedly mediocre economy has on the exchange rate. But perhaps SA Rugby should lift their player cap restrictions, especially with equity partners now having come into the local game.

Apart from the lesser budget available to him, White has also been banging on for some time about the number of South Africans playing overseas, saying the Springboks should only choose locally-based players in order to stop this player drain.

But it was exactly that restriction that plunged Springbok rugby into mediocrity in the previous decade; why do you think one of the first things Rassie Erasmus did when he became national coach was to do away with the locally-based rule he had enforced on Allister Coetzee when acting as director of rugby.

And White also needs to be a realist in accepting that for many players, the massive salaries they can earn overseas are worth taking oneself out of national contention for.

But if SA Rugby decides salary caps are not the correct way to go, that would at least halt some of the player exits.

The good news is that some excellent players have already turned their backs on overseas deals – Eben Etzebeth is one of the biggest global stars, able to command practically any fee, and he is inspiring the Sharks, while Rohan Janse van Rensburg swopped the Sale Sharks for the Durban variety.

Marco van Staden was lured back from Leicester Tigers to play for the Bulls, while Johan Goosen, Lionel Mapoe, Harold Vorster, Cyle Brink, Jacques du Plessis and Nizaam Carr are all the sort of quality players who really boost the strength of local rugby.

The Stormers have nabbed a player of similarly experienced ilk in Juan de Jongh and the Lions have brought back fellow Springboks Willem Alberts, Jaco Kriel and Ruan Dreyer.

SACA entreat CSA Board to resign – ‘the only way to end the impasse’ 0

Posted on October 15, 2020 by Ken

The South African Cricketers’ Association – the players’ union – on Wednesday entreated the Cricket South Africa Board to stand down following sports minister Nathi Mthethwa’s threat to intervene in the affairs of the embattled federation due to the impasse between government and CSA.

SACA chief executive Andrew Breetzke said in a statement that the only way to end the impasse between CSA and Sascoc and the sports minister was for the Board to resign and be replaced by an interim board. He said the alternative was the International Cricket Council suspending South Africa’s membership, causing enormous disappointment and hardship for the players and the sport itself.

“SACA believes that an interim board of directors must be established to stabilise the organisation. This interim board should include a SACA player’s representative as well as a representative from the remaining stakeholders in the game (sponsors and broadcasters). Furthermore, the interim board should appoint an experienced administrator to assist in the operational work that is required at CSA, ensuring a link between the interim board and operational staff.
“Cricket is in an existential crisis, and the intervention of government will result in the ICC reviewing CSA’s position as an ICC Member, and will furthermore jeopardise the England tour scheduled for next month. Players will suffer, development will suffer and the future of the game will be prejudiced. However, as has been recognised by Department of Sports, Arts & Culture and Sascoc, the current board has no credibility to resolve the crises, and it is clear that the current impasse between government and CSA will not be resolved until such time as the board stands down. We therefore implore the CSA Board to stand down and thereby take a decision that will be in the best interests of cricket,” Breetzke said.

SACA’s position is that an interim board has to be in place first, because the current directors are unable to self-correct. The interim board will then drive the restructuring of the board to ensure it is fully compliant with the recommendations of the Nicholson Commission, which came out eight-and-a-half years ago.

“As we have stated previously, CSA is not able to self-correct, and the intervention of government is further evidence of this. The current governance structure of CSA must be reviewed, and this has been acknowledged by CSA. The interim board must facilitate the implementation of the Nicholson recommendations through amendments to the Memorandum of Incorporation, as this will allow for an effective Board of Directors to ultimately take over the responsibility of the governance of the game.

“The Fundudzi Forensic Report has identified various failures in governance, failures that have consistently been highlighted by SACA, and this is the opportunity to remedy these for the sake of the game and ensure that experienced personnel are recruited into key executive positions,” Omphile Ramela, the SACA president, said.

Sports portfolio committee get CSA report, but still have to go through legal gymnastics 0

Posted on October 12, 2020 by Ken

Parliament’s sports portfolio committee duly received the full Fundudzi Report into the forensic affairs of Cricket South Africa on Friday, but not without having to go through legal gymnastics such as signing a non-disclosure agreement.

The members of the committee could get some decent weight training in if they print out the 486-page report and lug it around over the weekend. CSA were scheduled to meet again with the sports portfolio committee early next week, but depending on how much weekend leisure time the politicians are willing to give up, that could well be postponed given how long it will take to study the report properly.

A summary of the report was released to the media and other stakeholders, but not to parliament, by Cricket South Africa earlier in the week, much to the ire of the sports portfolio committee. They demanded that the full, unredacted report be given to them by close of business on Friday and CSA have complied.

While the summary focused on the failures and misdeeds of former CEO Thabang Moroe, it has caused a legal kerfuffle elsewhere in terms of some of the other names that were mentioned. CSA have been at pains to point out that the report has not been tested in court and is only the opinion and recommendations of the Fundudzi investigators. But already the other people named such as CSA human resources director Chantel Moon and parliamentary liaison officer Unathi Tshotwana, who has allegedly been exposed as being Service Provider X, have been tarnished without being given the opportunity to respond.

CSA issued a statement on Friday evening saying they had asked the chairperson of the sports portfolio committee, Beauty Dlulane, to declare the report as confidential.

“CSA has noted the public statement by the chairperson of the PPC to the effect that the PPC will sign a non-disclosure agreement in respect of the forensic report.  As such, and in accordance with the recommendation of the relevant Parliamentary Senior Legal Adviser, CSA has requested the chairperson of the PPC to make a ruling in terms of the relevant provisions of the Rules of the National Assembly, declaring that the forensic report is a confidential document.

“As publicly stated by CSA on various occasions and public platforms, the contents of the forensic report are confidential at this stage because it is a provisional report, because aspects of the report are subject to further investigation, and because public dissemination of the report at this stage may impair the integrity of the investigation process and undermine the implementation of remedial steps by CSA. It is for these reasons that CSA has, at this stage, released to the media a summary of the report, recording the substance of the provisional findings,” the statement said.

The full report, unlike the summary which was put together by CSA’s lawyers Bowmans, was sent to parliament directly by Fundudzi, so there should not be any redactions.

CSA did add that they would be consulting with Sascoc with a view to giving their president the report on the same basis as the sports portfolio committee.

But don’t expect any huge revelations to be coming out on social media over the weekend, because the lawyers have held sway.

Even if CSA vets Sascoc task team, who will pay for it? 0

Posted on September 16, 2020 by Ken

The meeting between Cricket South Africa’s Members Council and Sascoc was not as successful as CSA’s official statement made out on Tuesday, with a major sticking point being even if the Members Council vets the Sascoc independent task team investigating their affairs, who is going to pay for it?

While the Members Council have agreed to a “collaborative approach in the interest of good governance and executive operations” with Sascoc, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee were apparently not yet able to furnish CSA with the details of who the task team would comprise, how it would function and, crucially, who would take charge of all CSA’s operational functions if the executive management stepped aside as requested by Sascoc.

The mother body, which is also cash-strapped after a series of their own legal disputes, has also stated that CSA should pay for the task team. Figures as high as R40 million for a month’s work have been mentioned.

“We have made some progress and we have agreed to allow Sascoc to investigate what they want to, we are not trying to hide anything. But Sascoc have not been able to tell us how this task team will be structured and if they remove the whole executive team, who is going to run CSA and handle the finances? And the Members Council have said there is no way we are going to pay for the task team,” a Members Council delegate told The Citizen on Tuesday.

“Nobody knows exactly how this task team will happen, but hopefully the follow-up meeting on Thursday will clarify these things,” the Members Council member added.

Another Members Council delegate said it has been amazing to see the growth in unity and purpose within the body, which comprises the 14 provincial presidents and technically has oversight over the Board of Directors, who they appoint.

“It was a fantastic Members Council meeting and we seem to be finally understanding the level of authority that we have,” the cricket administrator said.

Three representatives of the Members Council – Anne Vilas (Central Gauteng), John Mogodi (Limpopo) and Xolani Peter Vonya (Easterns) were meant to hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon but this was postponed in another indication that CSA and Sascoc are not yet on the same page.

The presence of Vonya on the Members Council, never mind speaking for it, is also a point of conjecture because he has allegedly been suspended by his own union, which should then make him ineligible for the body of union presidents. He is one of several administrators with clouds over their heads who are still there on the Members Council.

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    Philemon 1:7 – “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

    “Every disciple of Jesus has a capacity for love. The most effective way to serve the Master is to share his love with others. Love can comfort, save the lost, and offer hope to those who need it. It can break down barriers, build bridges, establish relationships and heal wounds.” – A Shelter From The Storm, Solly Ozrovech

    If there’s a frustrating vacuum in your spiritual life and you fervently desire to serve the Lord but don’t know how you’re meant to do that, then start by loving others in his name.


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