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Ken Borland



CEO says it’s irrelevant whether BBCo houses Nkosi’s rugby career in future as Bok wing is found 0

Posted on April 13, 2023 by Ken

Whether the Blue Bulls Company houses Sbu Nkosi’s rugby career in future is irrelevant right now, CEO Edgar Rathbone said on Tuesday, because their focus is on making sure the Springbok wing gets the help he needs to solve his personal issues.

Nkosi had been missing from Loftus Versfeld for three weeks, raising fears for his wellbeing and safety, before he was found at his father’s house in Emalahleni (Witbank) on Monday afternoon. Rathbone was among the search party and he had a 40-minute talk with the 26-year-old.

“It was important for me to establish he was okay, safe and unharmed, and to find out where he is at. I was thrilled he was alive but sad to see the state he was in,” Rathbone said on Tuesday.

“We will provide the support he needs, but it’s difficult to put a timeline on his recovery, we need to give him space and get him back to full health. We need to follow the process, for some people it takes one month, for others six months, it depends on the depth they have to go.

“Our goal is to get him back on the rugby field and feeling like the champion he is again. Even if that’s not at the Bulls, it’s our job to get him ready. It’s irrelevant right now whether he plays for the Bulls again or some other team, it’s about Sbu Nkosi the person.

“Our concern is not for Sbu Nkosi the rugby player but for him as a person. He is an employee of the company and being absent without leave for three weeks does have consequences. But at this stage, we’re missing the point if we’re worrying about whether he still has a contract or not,” Rathbone said.

In terms of how the Bulls handled the disappearance of one of their star players, Rathbone said they had to cut their cloth according to the circumstances at the time, but he added “I’m sure mistakes were made along the way, but the player’s reputation also needed to be managed and his safety was a concern as well”.

While both the Bulls and MyPlayers, the players’ organisation to look after their interests, have mental health support measures in place, Rathbone said they would review the overall efficiency of these systems.

The CEO added that he hoped the general public would cotton on to the fact that coarse messaging on social media can lead struggling players into the dumps.

“I would ask everyone to be kind and not to make any remarks that may be harmful to Sbu. If you look at the comments and articles on social media, it’s quite frightening how stones are thrown at people.

“Everyone is going through stuff, no-one is immune to it. I would ask people to have a bit of respect for their fellow human beings.

“Unlike other jobs, our employees win or lose every Saturday and that’s pressure. I know it’s what they signed up for, but if they need help handling it then that support needs to be there,” Rathbone said.

Coetzee fully committed to getting best out of his talent, so move to Titans makes sense 0

Posted on April 05, 2023 by Ken

Gerald Coetzee impressed in his debut Test series against the West Indies this year.

Gerald Coetzee strikes one as a young cricketer who is fully committed to getting the absolute best out of his talent, so when his Free State Knights team were relegated at the end of the season, it was only natural that he should look elsewhere to further his burgeoning career.

The Northerns Titans, with whom he has now signed, are an ideal fit for the exciting fast bowler, being a team with a history of winning and a reputation for converting domestic talents into international stars. The Titans dominated the last decade of franchise cricket and they topped the Division I promotion/relegation log after the last two seasons.

The Proteas and their fans will also be delighted because the newly-capped Coetzee is too exciting a talent to be languishing in Division II.

The 22-year-old Coetzee played two Tests and two ODIs for South Africa in the season just finished, and proved himself to be a strike-bowler with 14 wickets. He is also a handy lower-order batsman.

“He’s an x-factor player, dangerous with the white ball and he will also really help us in the four-day competition,” Titans CEO Jacques Faul told kenborland.com. “He’s an exciting talent who has the kind of profile of young fast bowlers we have developed in the past – guys like Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi.

“With Lungi being contracted to the Proteas, we don’t get to see much of him in Titans colours, and Lizaad Williams too has spent time away with the national squad. So we need Gerald’s firepower as well,” Faul said.

Northerns Titans have also signed Free State opening batsman Matthew Kleinveldt, who fitted in well with the Knights after moving there in 2020 following 10 seasons in the Western Cape. In the last two seasons based in Bloemfontein, Kleinveldt has scored 692 runs at an average of 49.42.

With Theunis de Bruyn’s future in doubt and Heinrich Klaasen likely to be away with the Proteas for much of next season, it makes sense for the Titans to beef up their batting, an area where they also looked a bit light on experience at the end of last season.

The movement of Coetzee and Kleinveldt to Northerns is important because it also ensures two of the Knights’ better players still have a place in Division I cricket. With its strong schools and university, Free State is an important area of talent in terms of the national pipeline and their relegation to Division II is not good news for South African cricket as a whole. Especially since it is KZN Inland who are replacing them in the top division, meaning there are two teams from KwaZulu-Natal, based less than 100km apart, now playing in the A Section.

Of the Knights’ other players of national interest, Raynard van Tonder, so prolific with the bat a couple of seasons ago, is moving to the North-West Dragons, where he will definitely bolster a fragile batting line-up. Pace bowler Migael Pretorius, however, is believed to have turned down contracts elsewhere and will be playing as a free agent, which probably means he will be heading overseas to play in T20 leagues.

The 36-year-old Pite van Biljon, who was playing T20s for South Africa in 2021, is heading to Pietermaritzburg to play for the KZN Inland Tuskers, one of the few signings they will be making as they are believed to be backing the talent that won them promotion.

Invitee Bradbury leads after fairytale first round that showed his own brilliance in seizing whatever opportunities he gets 0

Posted on February 28, 2023 by Ken

Dan Bradbury has career earnings of just €32 537.50 and no playing status on the DP World Tour, but he is in the Joburg Open owing to a sponsor’s invitation, and on top of the leaderboard after a fairytale first round because of his own brilliance in seizing whatever opportunities he gets.

The 23-year-old Bradbury fired a superb eight-under-par 63 to take the lead after a weather-disrupted opening day at the Houghton Golf Club, leading Germany’s Nick Bachem by one stroke. Two Frenchmen are on six-under-par, Romain Langasque having completed his round and Clement Berardo having gone through 11 holes when play was suspended due to lightning at 5.11pm and then called off an hour later.

Bradbury, from Wakefield in Yorkshire, England, turned pro in July after five successful years as an amateur on the U.S. Collegiate system, playing for the Lincoln Memorial and Florida State university teams. He made three promising Challenge Tour appearances, but then three-putted his final hole of DP World Tour Qualifying School to miss advancing from the First Stage by one stroke.

Bradbury has played in a DP World Tour event before as a late replacement, making the most of an 11th-hour invite to the Open de Espana last month and finishing tied-13th. Not even the expensive flight could stop him from taking up another last-ditch call to compete in the Joburg Open, and he made the most of his chance on Thursday.

“I was given a spot on Friday night, flew out here on the weekend with my mum Sandra, just to see what we can do,” Bradbury said after his stellar round, which included seven birdies and two eagles, as well as a double-bogey and a dropped shot on his last hole, the par-three ninth.

“It was lovely to have my mother walk the fairways with me, it was as good a start as I could have wished for, but it’s the end of the week that is most important.

“It’s up there with my best days in my career, but I had some pretty special ones too during my American college days. I’ve still got work to do though,” the genial Bradbury said.

Thunderstorms always seem to come into play on the highveld in summer and Bradbury felt his momentum was disrupted by an earlier delay in mid-afternoon.

“I got some momentum going on my back nine, but the thunderstorm stopped that. It made me think a bit more about leading. I had hit great drives on three and five, and had nine-irons in on both, 180 and 188 metres, flags at the front of the green and I made the eagles.

“This is not the longest course and a good drive is key, and then the main thing is to have the confidence that you can hit that far at altitude, the ball was going miles.

“It’s my first time playing at real altitude, but my South African caddy, Keegan Snalam, has been great helping me,” Bradbury said.

South Africans have always contended hard at the Joburg Open, with nine local winners in the 14 events, and this time defending champion Thriston Lawrence and veteran Jaco van Zyl are leading the charge on five-under.

Casey Jarvis, Dylan Mostert, Louis de Jager, Wilco Nienaber and Jbe Kruger, who still has six holes to play, are all on four-under.

Boucher confirmed as new Mumbai Indians coach, a most suitable next step 0

Posted on October 28, 2022 by Ken

When one leaves the job of national cricket coach “to pursue other opportunities in line with his future career and personal objectives”, then the IPL would be a most suitable next step and Proteas coach Mark Boucher was duly confirmed as the Mumbai Indians new head coach on Friday.

Boucher announced earlier this week that he would step down as the Proteas coach after the T20 World Cup next month in Australia, and the “pursue other opportunities” reason was attributed to Cricket South Africa CEO Pholetsi Moseki in their statement.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome Mark Boucher to Mumbai Indians. With his proven expertise on the field and off it as a coach, guiding his team to numerous victories, Mark will add immense value to MI and take forward its legacy,” Akash M. Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Jio Infocomm, the owners of the franchise, said.

Boucher has overseen a steady growth in the Proteas T20 team, such that they are now ranked third in the world and are considered dark horses for the World Cup crown in Australia.

For Boucher, taking the coaching reins at a franchise as powerful as Mumbai Indians, the most successful IPL team in history with five titles since 2013, can almost be considered a step-up, especially in terms of salary.

But the last couple of years have been rough for Mumbai and there will be pressure for Boucher to turn around their fortunes as quickly as possible, because they missed the playoffs in 2021 and finished last this year.

“It is an honour and privilege for me to be appointed as head coach of Mumbai Indians,” Boucher said. “Their history and achievements as a franchise clearly put them up there as one of the most successful franchises in all of world sport.

“I look forward to the challenge and respect the need for results. It’s a strong unit with great leadership and players, and I look forward to adding value to this dynamic unit.”

Reports had suggested Boucher was being lined up for the MI Cape Town coaching gig in the inaugural SA20 early next year, but Australian Simon Katich has been appointed to head that sub-franchise, with Hashim Amla as the batting coach.

Boucher replaces Mahela Jayawardena as IPL coach, with the Sri Lankan great now looking after all three sub-franchises in the IPL, SA20 and Emirates T20 for Reliance as global head of performance.

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    Mark 7:8 – “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

    Our foundation must be absolute surrender, devotion and obedience to God, rising from pure love for him. Jesus Christ must be central in all things and his will must take precedence over the will of people, regardless of how well-meaning they may be.

    Surrender yourself unconditionally to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then you will be able to identify what is of man with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Then you will be able to serve – in love! – according to God’s will.



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